Detectives with the Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff’s Station are looking for knife-wielding tip jar thieves who robbed two fast food restaurants on the weekend.
The two robberies happened Friday night bringing to five the number of fast food restaurants targeted this month by thieves making off with the money in tip jars.
On Friday, thieves hit the Menchies Frozen Yogurt Shop on Sierra Highway at Via Princessa and the Jersey Mike’s Subs shop on Bouquet Canyon Road, at Newhall Ranch Road.
“They had a knife and they tried to rob us,” Michael Gudino, manager of Menchies told The Signal Monday.
“They took the tip money,” he said, noting the shop “chained” their tip jar to the counter after thieves stole the jar early last year.
The same Jersey Mikes was hit on Jan. 3 by “smash and grab” burglars who also broke into two other fast food restaurants that night.
Other places hit on Jan. 3 included the Jersey Mike’s on Golden Valley in the Plaza at Golden Valley, west of Oak Crest Drive, and the Little Caesars Pizza restaurant on Newhall Ranch Road at Copper Hill Drive.
In each case, tip jar money was stolen.
Detectives are treating the Friday incidents as robberies and the three prior “smash and grab” incidents as burglaries, Lt. Ignacio Somoana told The Signal Monday.
A woman who answered the phone at Jersey Mikes restaurant in the Bouquet Center Shopping Center on Bouquet Canyon Road at Newhall Ranch Road said the shop was robbed Friday night.
At least a couple of fast food operators voiced concerns over the rash of recent armed incidents.
“There have been a string of robberies in this (Newhall Ranch) area recently,” said the owner of the Menchies shop in Valencia who identified himself as Alex.
“Some of the tenants got together,” he said, referring to business tenants on the southwest corner of Newhall Ranch Road and Rye Canyon Road.
“One of the business owners told us to make sure everything is bolted down and be as safe as possible.”
No one was hurt in any of the five incidents – the two Friday night robberies and the three “smash and grab” burglaries.
Robbers, one armed with a baseball bat, held up a convenience store in Val Verde Sunday morning, Sgt. Cortland Myers said Monday.
About 6:20 a.m. Sunday, two young men wearing black ski masks robbed the Fast Stop 2 store on San Martinez Road.
“One of them hit the clerk with a baseball bat, in the right shoulder,” Myers said.
on Twitter @jamesarthurholt