Taco Bell Robbery Suspected To Be Inside Job - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

4/13/04 - Tyler

Taco Bell Robbery Suspected To Be Inside Job

Three Taco Bell employees were closing down for the night just before 2 a.m. One employee took the trash out the back door, while the other two were cleaning up inside.

"I was like, dang, he sure is outside a long time," Shannon Wallace, the employee inside the back office, said. "I turn around. Some guy comes from behind and grabs me."

Three men wearing ski masks and covered from head to toe.

"And the one big guy came up to me and said, 'Go up to the safe and open the safe,'" Jessica Jones, the shift manager, said. "He took me directly to the safe."

"Whoever it was knew exactly where the safe was," Wallace said. "He had to have been there before or something like that."

"He had told the guys to turn off the light," Jones said. "He emptied out my purse all out and got the money out of my purse. They took the panic buttons. Somebody knows what was going on in that store because they knew where everything was."

The Taco Bell employees say all three suspects fled the restaurant on foot, ran across the Westwood Shopping Center parking lot, and disappeared into the woods. Both employees say they're glad they got out alive, but they're scared to go back to work again at night.

"Next time, it may not be as, we may not be as lucky, or whoever it is may not be as lucky," Wallace said.

"When you leave the store at night, you don't know who's going to be behind the dumpster," Jones said.

With no security cameras, no security guard, and a history of robberies that turned out to be inside jobs, the employees say Taco Bell is an easy target.

The district manager says the employees violated policy: They were not supposed to open the back door at night. But the employees say, even if they went through the front door, the suspects would have been waiting for them by the dumpster.

Meanwhile, Taco Bell" is doing an internal investigation of its current and former employees. If you have any information about this robbery, you're asked to call Tyler police or Crimestoppers.

Julie Tam, reporting.

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