A crime spree last week led law enforcement on a chase through six local cities and six police jurisdictions before two men were arrested. One of the crimes, police say, occurred in a Denny's restaurant on Okeechobee Boulevard in West Palm Beach.
In a matter of seconds, video from several surveillance cameras in the Denny's restaurant shows two masked men carrying an AK-47 assault rifle and a handgun into the restaurant just before 11p.m. the night of Wednesday, April 7.
What happened terrified customers like Bill Snapp.
"It's like he had done this before, cause he came in with this gun, weaving it around," Snapp said.
At gunpoint, police say, the men demanded a waitress empty the register and her pockets of money before she is led at gunpoint to the manager's office where a safe was visible through a window.
General Manager Pati Malone was not at the restaurant at the time, and the waitress could not unlock the room.
"She did not have the keys to the office, and I guess eventually she convinced him of that, and he came back up front, finished robbing customers," Malone said.
As customers followed instructions to lie face down, the masked men walked through the restaurant demanding wallets, according to Malone.
"The sad thing to me is there were small children in here that night," she said.
Friday, U.S. Marshals arrested Benjamin Lee Goldwire Jr. and Carlton E. Thomas Jr., accused of kidnapping, sexual assault, carjacking and the robbery of two restaurants including Denny's, all within 12 hours.
"Any robbery will shake you up, but in the case, when they come in with assault weapons, that really, really makes you worry," Malone said.
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