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Updated: 2:46 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 19, 2014 | Posted: 11:14 a.m. Tuesday, Aug. 19, 2014

Police believe $10K taken from Buckhead Benihana was inside job

By Steve Visser

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Atlanta police today said they believe the Aug. 10 robbery of a Buckhead Benihana Japanese restaurant was an “inside job”because the robbers knew the operating routine.

“They knew to come around the back and they went right to the managers office,” said Sgt. Carven Tyus commander of the robbery unit. “We don’t have any leads right now. That is why we’re reaching out to the public.”

Three men with semi-automantic pistols allegedly waylaid six employees taking a smoke break behind the restaurant at 2143 Peachtree Rd. just before midnight Aug. 10, according to an incident report from the Atlanta Police Department.

Two of the suspects stayed outside and another entered the restaurant through the rear door, beat manager Mark Morgan Ekstrand and escaped with more than $10,000 from the safe, according to the report.

Ekstrand, who was bleeding severely from the ear, told police that he kept the back door unlocked so the restaurant’s dishwasher could easily exit and return. Surveillance cameras captured the robbery, police said.

The three men wore black T-shirts, either black jeans or white shorts and black or white sneakers, police said. They fled on foot.

Tyus hopes someone will recognize one large robber by his size and his tattoos that can be seen in the surveillance video.

“All these guys are armed, Tyus said “They have a propensity for violence.”

Any information on the case can be submitted anonymously to the Crime Stoppers Atlanta tip line at 404-577-TIPS (8477), online www.crimestoppersatlanta.org or by texting CSA and the tip to CRIMES (274637). Crime Stoppers is offering a $2,000 reward for information that leads to arrest and indictment of the suspects.

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