Police: Papa John's employees locked in freezer during armed robbery

FRIENDSWOOD, Texas - Two employees at a Papa John's Pizza store were found inside the freezer after an armed robbery, according to authorities.

Friendswood police said it happened at 210 East Parkwood Avenue around 10:10 p.m. on Sunday.

Officers said they set up a perimeter around the store when they arrived because they did not know if the robber was still inside the store.

One of the employees managed to escape and ran next door to the Whataburger to call 911. When no movement was observed inside the store, officers said they entered and freed the two employees inside the freezer. Police said they were not injured. 

Papa John's customer Late Stearns reacted to the news on Monday.

"Oh my goodness. I didn't know that," said Stearns. "I just feel like that's terrible because these people work hard and serve us and give us what we need and at rush hour like it is right now. And it's just a terrible thing that happened. I hate to hear that."

According to investigators, a police K-9 arrived and got a positive track that abruptly ended at the back of the building.

The robber was identified as white, 30 to 50-years-old, and 5 feet 6 inches to 6 feet and 2 inches tall with a stocky to heavy build, salt-and-pepper hair and scruffy facial hair. He was last seen wearing a dark-colored T-shirt, dark-colored pants, a dark blue or black New York Yankees baseball cap and batting gloves. The man wore a bright green bandana over his face and had a gun in his waistband, police said.

This isn't the first time that store employees have been robbed. Officials said It happened to two employees in October of 2012.

"I was walking out of the store and there was two guys hiding behind these pillars at Walgreens right here. I had seen them peek around the pillars," one employee told Local 2. "One of them had a pistol and pointed it at my face. And he ran up on me and pistol whipped me and I took my backpack off and threw the money at him and they took off."

The employee told police that the men, wearing masks, blocked the employee's car, preventing him from leaving. The robbers stole the night's money.

Anyone with information on the robbery is urged to contact the Friendswood Police Department at 281-996-3300.

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