Updated: Monday, 08 Aug 2011, 6:46 PM MDT
Published : Monday, 08 Aug 2011, 6:46 PM MDT
LOS LUNAS, N.M. (KRQE) - Monday Los Lunas police released surveillance video of the armed robber who held up a fast food restaurant and then took a hostage to make his getaway. In the video a man wearing a Halloween mask and a hooded sweatshirt uses a gun, breaks through the Del Taco drive thru window and then climbs inside. It happened just before midnight when the restaurant's drive thru was open.
Employees say the robber pointed a gun at them and demanded they open they open the safe. While he looted the place, a customer outside called police. The man, realizing he was surrounded, grabbed Ariel Gallegos, who was just about to finish her shift for the night and used her has a human shield to escape. He shoved her into a stolen car and tried to drive away. Los Lunas police shot out his tires. The crook ditched the car with Gallegos inside about a half a mile away near Los Lunas High School. That's when he took off running. Police canvassed the neighborhood for more than five hours, but haven't found the bandit.
Monday News 13 took a picture of the suspect into an Albuquerque gas station on Lomas and Louisiana. They confirmed someone wearing the same suit robbed them just an hour before the Del Taco incident. Los Lunas police say it's likely the cases are linked. "It's highly unlikely it's a copycat because it happened so close to one another and it's the same costume," said Los Lunas Police Chief.
He added his investigators are following multiple leads. "That night we filmed every vehicle that was there in that area, so it's just a matter of running plates, doing the homework, tracking it down and matching up our evidence with Albuquerque's," Chief Melnick added. He says the suspect was carrying a backpack and wearing gloves. He thinks his getaway car was hidden in the neighborhood near Los Lunas High School and is asking anyone who may have seen anything suspicious to contact his department.