KITTERY — Police were investigating an armed robbery at a Burger King restaurant in which two masked gunmen held 18 people at bay before fleeing with an undetermined amount of cash.
No shots were fired and no one was injured in the Saturday night holdup at the restaurant along U.S. Route 1, near the town’s sprawl of outlet stores.
The customers and employees were “very shaken up,” said Police Chief Edward Strong.
One robber pointed his handgun at the people in the restaurant while the other jumped the counter and ordered the manager to turn over the day’s receipts, the chief said.
The gunman who approached the manager then ordered him into a back room, where the gunman emptied trays of money.
“A lot of the customers were from out of state, heading here for the holidays,” Strong said. “They were saying to us afterward that they didn’t think this kind of thing happened in Maine.”
The suspects, who wore ski masks, were described by witnesses as white males between 18 and 25 years old, between 5 foot 5 inches and 5 foot 8 inches tall, with stocky builds. One wore a brown leather jacket, the other a Starter athletic jacket.
The men left the immediate area on foot, Strong said, but police suspect they made their getaway in a vehicle that may have been parked behind the restaurant.
Bill O’Leary, a Burger King store manager who was not present during the robbery, quoted workers as saying the gunmen moved quickly and everyone in the restaurant stayed calm.