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Police agencies team up as robbers target restaurants

LOGANVILLE, Ga. — The FBI reportedly is looking into a string of robberies at Asian-owned restaurants across metro Atlanta.

Employees have been terrorized, with beatings and thefts reported late in the evenings.

WSB reported at least 14 businesses have been robbed. That includes Oriental Garden at 4132 Atlanta Highway, Suite 111, Loganville, on the night of June 4. Two black men entered the business from the rear kitchen entrance, toting handguns, and demanded the victims’ wallets.

Three people in the kitchen staff, along with an employee from the front of the business, were ordered to kneel on the floor with their heads down

One woman was struck by the butt end of a gun and sustained a broken lip and bruised cheek. Paramedics treated her at the scene.

Hong Kong Buffet, at 4555 Atlanta Highway, Suite F, Loganville, was robbed May 5. Two men dressed in black struck a female employee with a gun and took money from the cash register. 

One of the workers there told Channel 2 she tried to fight back but was overcome.

“I tried to fight him, but he’s a guy,” she said. “He’s strong.”

Gwinnett County police have asked reporters to hold off on reporting information on vehicles or anything else related to the crimes for fear of compromising current robbery investigations in their jurisdiction.

“Detectives don’t want to publicize anything else about the series for the time being,” Sgt. Jake Smith told The Walton Tribune on Monday.

Channel 2 said law enforcement sources think the same people are behind robberies in DeKalb, Gwinnett, Morgan, Rockdale, Newton and Walton counties since March.

The Morgan County Citizen said two men wearing hoodies, gloves and bandanas entered Happy China Restaurant on Eatonton Highway on June 10 and beat and whipped elderly employees and forced four customers to the ground.

One 90-year-old man was pistol-whipped. A woman in her 60s was thrown to the ground and beaten with a pistol.

After the men attacked the woman, they struggled with an elderly man in a wheelchair at the cash register, the newspaper reported, then took cash. They allegedly took a wallet and cellphone from one customer.

The Loganville cases remained unsolved early in the week, but the investigation continues.

“Loganville Police Department detectives are continuing to share information and coordinate efforts with other agencies to work toward the arrest of the suspects,” Robbie Schwartz, a spokesman for the city, said.