Investigators want to catch the suspect before the crimes turn even more violent. Detective Doug Barber is investigating one of the armed robberies in Hazelwood.
“We believe all three of these robberies are connected,” he said.
In the middle of the night, the armed suspects entered the Hazelwood Steak ‘n Shake wearing Halloween masks. One quickly targeted the manager and began stealing fistfuls of cash, one handful after another.
An Overland and a St. Peters Steak ‘n Shake were also robbed.
“Anytime there is a gun involved, I’m concerned,” said Overland Police Chief Mike Laws.
Police have identified a person of interest: a person already eating in the establishment when the suspect enters, goes to the restroom, puts on a mask, and comes out showing a gun and demanding money.
So far, no one has been injured in these robberies.
“Things could go downhill in a big hurry. That’s a big concern when there’s a gun involved,” Laws said.
Detectives can only guess as to why they keep targeting steak n shakes which have been robbed September 28, October 9, and October 20.
“It could be disgruntled former employees. It could be they go to Steak ‘n Shake a lot and they kind of see the inner workings and how it happens, we really don’t know at this point,” said Det. Barber.
The three police departments are determined to catch the suspect as well as the person of interest.
“These regional type crimes – you couldn’t do it without the other departments,” Barber said.
Police said Steak ‘N Shake is being very cooperative and helpful in the investigation.