Police are investigating an armed robbery that occurred early Monday at a restaurant on West Sixth.
Brandishing handguns and hunting for cash, two men locked a customer and employees of a Lawrence Sonic restaurant in a walk-in cooler for 20 minutes early Monday, and kept the restaurant's manager on the floor at gunpoint.
"It's a scary thing -- it was a scary day," said Michael Madsen, manager of Sonic, 3201 W. Sixth.
The armed robbers, who walked away with more than $7,000, remained at-large Monday, Lawrence police reported.
No one was injured, which gave Madsen cause to be thankful.
"I think God was with us last night," he said, adding that those involved were "doing OK."
The incident occurred a few minutes past midnight when a man walked up to the restaurant's last customer for the night and told him to turn around, police said. It was closing time, and there were no cars in the restaurant's parking stalls.
Armed with a black automatic handgun, witnesses said, the man led the customer, a 16-year-old Lawrence boy, back into the restaurant's building and shut the door.
Inside were Madsen and two female employees, 16 and 17, both of Lawrence.
The man ordered the back door of business opened, where his companion, also armed with a black automatic handgun, was waiting outside.
Both men wore nylon pantyhose over their heads.
The two girls and the customer were ordered into a walk-in cooler, where they were kept during the incident.
Madsen was commanded to the floor.
After taking the money, the suspects "apparently left on foot," police spokeswoman Sgt. Susan Hadl said. "There was no vehicle information and no known direction of travel."
Madsen said he was simply glad it was over with.
"It's a pretty traumatic experience," Madsen said. "I hope nobody in my business ever has to go through it again."
The first suspect is described as a white male, 25 to 30 years old, about 6 feet tall, weighing 200 pounds, with brown hair and brown eyes. He was wearing a navy hooded sweatshirt, dark jogging pants and white high tops.
The second suspect is described as a white male, 18 to 25 years old, 5-foot-9, weighing 160 pounds, with unknown hair or eye color. He was wearing a yellow bandana, a light green pullover and blue parachute pants.
Anyone with information that could lead to the arrest of the suspects is asked to forward it to the Lawrence Police Department, 832-7501.