By DEUCE NIVEN
Three employees of the McDonald’s in Loris, ushered into a store freezer by two men who robbed the business early Monday, remained inside until help arrived though they were not locked in, an Horry County Police Department report released Tuesday said.
Three young women, two who were 17, the other 20, told police they closed the store about 2 a.m., walked outside, and were confronted by two men with guns, wearing masks, who ordered the women back into the store and “placed them in the freezer,” a report by HCPD Officer Matthew Mahon said.
Though the redacted report does not indicate that any of the women were harmed, the younger two were taken to a hospital by ambulance, the report said. The non-redacted portion of the report references an undisclosed amount of money in the safe, but does not say if the robbers took any.
There were no injuries in an early morning robbery at the McDonald’s franchise in Loris Monday, a company spokesman said.
Between five and six workers were in the restaurant on U.S. 701 on the north side of town at about 2:15 a.m. when two people with guns attempted to get into the closed store, Carlo Hamade, director of operations for franchise holder J&L services said.
“There was some back and forth, and the police were dispatched,” Hamade said.
Police arrived quickly, Hamade said. He was not able to confirm social media conversations that the employees had been held in a room they could not escape.
Hamade said the robbers wore dark clothing and masks, leaving surveillance video images with little to identify what appeared to be men.
Loris Police Chief Karen Shepherd said she turned the investigation over to the Horry County Police Department due to the “limited resources” of her agency.
HCPD spokesman Lt. Raul Denis said late Friday he had not received a supervisor’s authorization to release any information, nearly ten hours after Tabor-Loris Tribune’s first request.
“This is scary for employees, scary for the town of Loris,” Hamade said. “There have been other robberies.”
For more on this story see Wednesday’s Tabor-Loris Tribune in print and online.