Two arrested in restaurant robbery

A Puyallup man, 22, and a Tacoma girl, 17, are in custody after people matching their descriptions took $2,000 from a KFC/Taco Bell at 1310 Yelm Ave. E. just before 9 a.m. Sunday, Yelm police reported.

Employees at the restaurant said two people wearing ski masks entered the restaurant before it opened, forcing one employee into the walk-in cooler and the other into a closet, Yelm police Sgt. Rob Carlson said. They took money from the safe and hauled it away in a black bag, he said.

After the robbers left, one of the employees saw them run to the parking lot of an apartment complex in the 16000 block of Creek Lane, Carlson said. Washington State Patrol troopers who were in the area stopped a car leaving the apartment complex with two people matching the description given by the employees, he said.

The troopers reported that they could see ski masks and a black bag in the car, Carlson said. Yelm police were obtaining a search warrant to see whether the money is in the car, he said.

Yelm’s investigation does not indicate that the two people being questioned are involved in a series of robberies of fast-food restaurants in Pierce County; they do not match the physical descriptions of the suspects in those cases, Carlson said. In October and November, men in an unmarked sport utility vehicle with blue and red flashing lights have targeted late-night managers to rob fast-food restaurants. In one case, an employee was sexually assaulted, according to The News Tribune.