Five people held up, tied up at Decatur restaurant

- Decatur Police are searching for the masked men who held up five people inside The Pinewood restaurant at gunpoint and zip-tied their hands to steal their belongings and cash.

The ordeal happened shortly before midnight Thursday. Police said a robber confronted a woman employee in the rear of the restaurant and held a weapon to her head, then forced her inside.

Police in their report said the two armed robbers, both men in their 20s wearing black masks and hoodies, zip-tied the five people and stole their bags, phones, and cash from the restaurant. The workers were able to free themselves after the robbers left.

"It's a senseless act of violence upon our community," said owner Brooks Cloud by phone, who said the crew is okay but shaken after the robbery. "They are defiant. They are resilient, they are not going to let this win," he said.

Customers stopped by to encourage the staff and grab a bite at the restaurant, following news of the robbery spreading throughout the community.

Cloud said a charity event held by management will still continue this weekend, despite the events rocking the staff over the past day.

"We want to stop the level of desperation in whatever way we can," Cloud said, expressing sadness that robbers resorted to violence to make a living.

Owners of The Pinewood run The Helpful Hotdog, a gourmet stand at Ponce City Market's The Shed. Proceeds benefit local charities, and features, every week, a different local renowned chef and their artistic take on a classic hotdog.

The Helpful Hotdog will be available March 27 from noon to 3 p.m.

RELATED: Police searching for two suspects in Decatur restaurant armed robbery

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