MARTINSBURG, W.Va. (WDVM) — Two suspects threatened employees with a knife and robbed a Martinsburg restaurant Wednesday night, the Berkeley County Sheriff’s Office said.
Officials are seeking public assistance in locating the suspects and have released images from surveillance footage.
Officials say multiple agencies including Martinsburg PD responded to the Chopsticks restaurant on Eagle School Road around 9:30 p.m. after an employee reported the robbery to central dispatch.
Officials say the employees reported that an older man walked into the restaurant and said he was there to rob them, he then pulled out a knife. A younger suspect stood watch. When the suspects were given money, they fled.
The manager of the restaurant, Susan Chen, explained that her employee who interacted with the robbers initially thought that the older suspect was joking. Chen stated that her employees were trying to tell the two men that the restaurant was not only closed for the night but was not allowing customers inside due to COVID-19. It was only after the suspect pulled out the knife that the employees became scared.
Chen stated that she was not at the restaurant at the time of the incident but was fearful for her staff. She told WDVM that the incident reminded her of a previous incident that occurred just one month after she opened the restaurant. She explained that someone tried to rob their restaurant and then proceeded to pour gasoline onto the floor. Chen believes that the suspect was trying to burn the restaurant.
Chen also said that while there was money stolen during this incident, she is so grateful that none of her staff were injured. She highlighted that she is touched by customers and community members who have reached out to her following the incident. She stated that many of her customers have texted her or messaged on social media with words of support and prayers.
A K-9 track by Martinsburg PD yielded the general area the suspects fled, towards the Dollar Tree across from the restaurant, but they have not been located.
The first, older suspect is described as a white man between 40 and 45-years-old. He was reported wearing a camo hat, dark jacket, dark pants, and black shoes with a white emblem.
The second suspect is described as a white man in his twenties with a skinny build. He was reported wearing a dark jacket with a hood, a grey hoodie, dark pants and white sneakers.
Berkeley County Sheriff Nathan Harmon told WDVM that the descriptions of the suspects, as well as the route that they took, were given to other agencies. He also emphasized that the Sheriff’s Department will continue to investigate the incident.
Officials ask that anyone with information on the incident contact the BCSO, Deputy A. Leonard and/or the Criminal Investigation Division at 304-267-7000.