Violent ambush robbery at popular Inman Park restaurant

- Police are investigating a violent ambush robbery at a popular Inman Park restaurant.

Atlanta police said armed masked men ambushed then robbed two employees at the Barcelona Wine Bar early Sunday morning and investigators are trying to find the violent gunmen before they strike elsewhere.

“One was a black face mask, the other a white face mask,” said Major Adam Lee III, the Commander of the Major Crimes Division for the Atlanta Police Department.

The surveillance video showed the intruders ambush an employee at the back door of the Barcelona Wine Bar when he came to throw out the trash early Sunday morning.

“They both have weapons; they push him to the ground and then the force him up to the door where there's another employee inside,” said Major Lee.

He said the men forced the employee to show himself at the peep hole. When the woman inside opened the door one of the robbers dragged the first victim in, the other put a gun to the other employees head.

Police said they forced her to open the safe and hand over cash. Major Lee said they'd probably been to the Inman Park eatery before.

“They cased the joint like people used to say before they hit it. So I’m sure they probably did some sort of intelligence before they came up,” said Major Lee.

A couple of customers at the restaurant were shocked at the violence.

“Wow, in this neighborhood,” said Eric Holder when he saw the video.

He said he would like to see more police patrols in the area and was hopeful Inman Park restaurants take precautions before the violent intruders strike elsewhere.

“There are so many restaurants here, the service industry, a lot of kids, a lot of my colleagues they work here late at night, so you gotta be careful,” said Holder.

No one at the Barcelona Wine Bar would go on camera but a representative told FOX 5 News they are taking precautions. Police advise neighboring restaurants and bars to do the same by not doing the same thing.

“Don't just do the same thing coming out of the same thing every night coming out of the same door because you could be being watched and someone might be trying to plan to rob you,” said Major Lee.

He said the armed robbers also stole a couple of cell phones, some credit cards and identification.

Anyone with any information is asked to call the Atlanta Police Department or Crime Stoppers at 404-577-TIPS.

There is a potential for a $2,000 reward and tipsters can remain anonymous.

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