MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — New Hope Police are investigating an armed robbery at a restaurant Friday morning.

The robbery happened at the Pizza Hut at 7500 Bass Lake Road at 10 a.m., when two suspects entered the restaurant and showed an employee a dark-colored handgun.

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According to New Hope Police Captain Scott Slawson, the men then tied up a female employee before leaving. he employee was able to call police after they left, and she was not injured during the robbery.

“Certainly you show up for work, it’s not what you expect first thing in the morning,” Slawson said. “The suspects then made away with an undetermined amount of money and/or other property.”

After a search of the store, investigators did find something they believe belonged to the culprits.

The suspects are described as black men who were dressed like construction worker, including bright yellow reflective vests and construction hats.

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Police believe this robbery could be connected to one in Crystal, which occurred about 20 minutes later at a Game Stop store.

Sabrina Hallett is assistant manager at Great Clips, located right next door to the Game Stop. The robbers walked in to the store, struck the manager in the head with a gun and then tied her up.

“All we saw was a squad car pull up,” Hallett said. “We never heard or saw anybody or any movement until we saw the K-9.”

She watched as K-9 officers tried to track the scent of the suspects after they fled, but they were unsuccessful.

“It could happen to anybody. I don’t know what I’d do if I was in that situation,” she said. “It’s very scary.”

New Hope Police say they are doing an analysis of robberies metro-wide to see if there are any patterns that may connect these two latest robberies to others.

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Anyone with information is asked to call New Hope Police at 763-531-5169.

Reg Chapman