Police: Gunmen rob Tacoma Hooters, force workers into freezer

Police: Gunmen rob Tacoma Hooters, force workers into freezer
The Tacoma Police Department investigates an armed robbery at a Tacoma Hooters Monday morning.

TACOMA, Wash. -- Two Tacoma Hooters employees found themselves locked in the freezer Monday morning as armed and masked robbers looted the store, according to the Tacoma Police Department.

According to police, the janitor had returned to the Hooters at 6812 Tacoma Mall Blvd. before 7 a.m. to finish up something he forgot to do during his shift and left the door unlocked behind him.

Two masked men, one armed with a handgun, followed him in and forced him into the walk-in freezer, according to police.

About 30 minutes later, the restaurant's manager arrived. According to police, the man with the gun took the manager's cellphone, keys and wallet and forced him into the freezer with the janitor.

The robbers took the money from the safe and left, according to police.

The employees were able to eventually break out of the freezer and call 911.

Despite being in the freezer for up to 40 minutes, the two Hooters employees were not harmed.    

“Physically they are fine," Tacoma Police Officer Loretta Cool said. "But, they were confronted by masked people with guns. Obviously that’s a frightening situation to be in.”