Employees of Belen restaurant forced into freezer during robbery

BELEN, N.M. (KRQE) – Employees of a Belen fast food restaurant were traumatized when two masked men shoved them into a freezer during a robbery last month.

The two employees were closing up late last month when two men broke into the back door of the Burritos Alinstante restaurant.

“One man came in with the crowbar. He ran passed one of the girls who was actually rinsing out some tea in our sink area, and he told her to get down,” said Bernadette Perez the manager.

One of the men got particularly violent and left the workers scared for their lives.

“He got her from behind in some sort of a choke hold, and in the other arm was some kind of sharp object up against her throat,” said Perez.

According to the police report, the two men dragged the employees into the freezer and demanded the manager. Perez wasn’t there, but one of the employees, acting as a shift manager, fearfully spoke up.

“He made the manager open the safe, which she was very nervous, missed it several times, she tried to say there is no money in there. But he said, ‘I’ll kill you,” Perez said.

After the suspects got what they wanted, they shoved the employees back into the freezer and left. Thankfully, they were not locked inside and slowly emerged after the men left.

The two employees are doing their best to move past the incident Perez said. The robbers have yet to be caught, but manager Bernadette Perez has this message for them.

“If they wanted the money, they could’ve come through the front door and got the money, but they didn’t need to put this type of terror into anybody’s life,” she said.

The masked men took off with nearly $5,000 from the safe and the restaurant plans to install security cameras soon.

Belen Police said they have no leads on the case and encourage anyone with information to give them a call.

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