Caught on Camera: Cooks fend off serial eatery robber

Surveillance tape captured the moment just before closing time

(CNN) – Police in New York are on the search for a serial robber who targets restaurants. Authorities say he successfully robbed three eateries, but when he tried a fourth, the workers fought back.

It was all caught on camera.

The cook at Chen’s Garden showed us what he used to fight off the would-be robber. He doesn’t speak English, but told me in Cantonese his terrifying ordeal a week ago.

Surveillance tape captured the moment just before closing time. Wearing a mask and hoodie and holding a knife, the suspect demands money.

The cook tells me as the suspect climbs over the counter, he and a co-worker defended themselves. His instincts kicked in and he grabbed the first weapon he could – a spatula used for woks. That, along with a chair, was enough to scare the robber off – and he didn’t get away with any money.

But Chen’s wasn’t the guy’s first hit of the night. Just 20 minutes earlier, he robbed a Baskin-Robbins of $533 in the same shopping plaza.

This guy’s crime spree began before Christmas. Each time he had a knife. On December 19th at 10:25 P.M., he got away with $320 from Dunkin’ Donuts. Ten days later, he held up the KFC/Taco Bell at 11:55, robbing it of almost $900.

Then the two incidents the night of January fourth.

The supervisor of KFC/Taco Bell, who didn’t want to reveal her identity, tells us, incredibly, the robber was polite, making small talk as he forced her to empty the register. “He was, like, happy new year. I just came back from my vacation and everything so I’m, like, this just can’t be real.”

The brave workers at Chen’s tell me because the crook was carrying a knife, they fought back. If he had a gun, it would have been a different story.

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