Local News

Investigators Search For Chinese-Restaurant Robbers

Posted October 25, 2006 9:15 a.m. EDT

— Investigators are looking for two teenagers who they believe have robbed four Chinese restaurants in three counties within a two-week period.

The latest robbery happened Sunday night at the China Wok in Newton Grove in Sampson County. Police said two young men walked into the restaurant, ordered takeout and, minutes later, robbed the business.

Owner Ruikun Lin said one of the teens pointed a gun at his chest while the other grabbed about $200 from the cash register.

"They just showed me the gun and said, 'Give me money,'" Lin said.

Investigators believe the two teenagers also targeted a Chinese restaurant in Johnston County and two others in Wayne County.

"They all seem to be wearing similar clothing," said Newton Grove Police Chief Frankie Harrell. "I think the biggest thing is the fact of their age. Everyone has said anywhere from 14 years old to 18 years old."

In each of the four cases, investigators said the assailants have actually gone inside, ordered food and then waited before robbing the restaurant.

"I don't know if they're waiting for them to open the register or if they're just staking out the place at that point," Harrell said.

So far, there is no surveillance video of the robbers, a detailed description or information about a possible getaway car.

"The communication barrier is there, and I think they feel like (Chinese restaurants) are an easy prey," Harrell said.

With limited descriptions of the two young men, investigators are asking anyone with information about the robberies to call their local law enforcement agency.