Lake County investigates fast food robberies

- Ellen Bruce won't return to her job of managing a Leesburg Burger King until Monday, doctor's orders.  Bruce, 54, has a concussion and a real tale of terror to go along with it.

"We were scared.  We were scared to death all of us. I mean, I think I'm the oldest employee who works there.  I'm a mom to those kids.  Who does that to a kid?"  she said as she cried and rubbed her eyes.

Bruce and her fellow employees were the victims of a violent armed robbery, which happened just after 10 p.m. on Wednesday. 

"One of the employees had walked out into the parking lot ,when he was approached by two black males who forced him back into the side door that he had exited," explained Leesburg Police Lt. Joe Iozzi.

According to police, one of the robbers pistol-whipped that 19-year-old employee, and then they pointed a gun at Bruce, ordering her to get money out of the restaurant safe. 

"I started pulling the money out, but I guess I wasn't doing it fast enough, and he took the gun and hit me in the back of the head."

Police said then the two robbers pushed Bruce and three other employees into a freezer, where they ordered the employees to stay.  But a short time, Bruce said she made the decision that they would exit the freezer.

"When we came out, when we decided finally to come out, we were hand-in-hand, all of us.  That's a bind that will never be broken between the four of us." 

Lt. Iozzi said they are working closely with Mount Dora Police, because of similarities with a robbery of  the McDonalds at Donnelly and U.S. 441 last week.

Anyone with information is asked to call Crimeline at 800-423-TIPS (8477). 

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