On November 5, 2013 at approximately 12:02 a.m., the Lakeland Police Department responded to Chili’s Restaurant, 3980 U.S. 98 North in references to an armed robbery. An employee who was taking the trash out at the rear entrance was forced back inside the restaurant by gunpoint by three armed masked men. The suspects then forced five other employees to lie down on the kitchen floor. Three patrons were also ordered into the kitchen at gunpoint by two of the suspects and ordered to lie on the floor. During the robbery, one of the suspects struck an employee in the head with a handgun causing a laceration. The suspects robbed the business and all 9 victims of their individual money. An undetermined amount of money was taken.
Violent Crimes Detective responded to investigate the armed robbery and interview witnesses. A stolen vehicle (2010 White Dodge Charger) was located on the North West corner of the Lakeland Square Mall property. This vehicle had been previously stolen from Orange Bowl Lanes, 4318 U.S. 98 North. It is undetermined if this vehicle was involved in the robbery and detectives are currently following up on possible leads at this time.
Anyone with information on the Armed Robbery is asked to contact Lakeland Police Department at 863-834-6900, or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-226-8477.