OUTSIDE MINNEAPOLIS, MN -- The manager of a local fast-food restaurant that was robbed at gunpoint in September has been charged with perpetrating the robbery and kidnapping two employees who were forced into the restaurant’s freezer.
Kyle Mathew Jordan Hunt, 20, of Becker, Minn., is charged with three felonies: aggravated first-degree robbery and two counts of kidnapping, each of which carries a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison and a $35,000 fine.
Plymouth police responded to a reported robbery at the Burger King restaurant on 28th Place North in Plymouth just after 10:30 p.m. Sept. 3, according to the criminal complaint, signed by Plymouth Police Detective Jon Goldenman.
Employees told police that they were closing up for the night, with all the doors locked and the bathrooms checked, and nobody else was in the restaurant. One of the employees said he was in the kitchen when a white man, 6 feet tall and weighing about 160 pounds and with his face covered, walked up, pointed a gun at his head and ordered him into the freezer.
The other employee, a woman, was already in the freezer taking inventory when the gunman pushed the man inside. The gunman left but returned shortly afterward, grabbing the woman by the hair and dragging her out of the freezer, the complaint says.
The suspect held the gun to the back of the woman’s head and ordered her to open the office door. She complied, and he took her back to the freezer and closed the door.
The two employees stayed inside the freezer for about 10 minutes, then came out to find the suspect gone and a large amount of cash missing from the restaurant’s safe. Burger King managers told police that Hunt, the store manager, had not followed a store policy dictating that cash deposits were to be locked in a special safe, with the key to that safe locked in a second safe.
Hunt had recently been disciplined for failing to make the restaurant’s deposits in a timely manner, according to store policy, according to the complaint.
Surveillance video showed the suspect grabbing the male employee and forcing him into the cooler at gunpoint. Another camera focused on the kitchen and the back room had been turned so that the video it captured was no help in identifying the gunman.
Shortly before the robbery, Hunt complained to employees about his financial troubles, and he quit his job at Burger King five days after the incident, according to the complaint. Police found a .22-caliber Airsoft magazine on the floor next to the restaurant freezer, and swabbed it for DNA.
Subsequent testing showed that the DNA on the magazine matched Hunt’s.
Police interviewed Hunt, who initially claimed that he was at Canterbury Park in Shakopee on the night of the robbery, then later changed his story and said he was at home in Becker. The female Burger King employee said she called Hunt on his cell phone after she called 911 to tell him about the robbery; cell-phone records show that when she called him, he was about seven miles from the restaurant, and not in either Shakopee or Becker.
Hunt remains in the Hennepin County Jail on a $250,000 bond. He is scheduled to make a first appearance on the charges Dec. 4 in Hennepin County District Court.