STRONGSVILLE, Ohio -- Strongsville police are trying to identify two gunmen, who robbed the Brew Garden Restaurant on Howe Road on July 17.
"They said 'where are you going, lay down on the floor. I laid down. I said, don't hurt me, I have three kids at home and just take what you want,” said Ivanne Meredith, the morning kitchen manager at the restaurant.
Meredith and another employee told police that the two men wore masks, and were armed with an AK-47 and a pistol. She says they ordered her to open the safe, and then took a significant amount of cash.
Meredith says the suspects restrained her along with her co-worker with zip ties, before fleeing.
"They were calm, it wasn't like they were rushed, they were calm, they were meticulous about it, they had tools, they had a bag, like they knew what they wanted and what they were there for," she said.
Meredith says she decided to quit her job last week, out of concern for her own safety, but says when she tried to get the money she was owed, she was told the restaurant was withholding her check.
She told Fox 8, "they're insinuating that I knew the people, that I had something to do with it, and it's just ridiculous, if that was the case I have three kids, I have a husband, I would never put my life in jeopardy, like I have no criminal past, no criminal history."
Brew Garden issued the following statement:
"On Sunday July 17 at 8:00 am the Brew Garden was robbed at gun point. The authorities have directed us not to comment on the statements and actions of all the persons involved. However, we can comment on a few internal aspects of the organization.
In regards to the security of the four month old building. The alarm system was successfully disarmed by Ivanne Meredith. The access door was unlocked, relocked, and unlocked successfully without any problems by Ivanne Meredith. The final stage for the installation of the surveillance system is scheduled for August.
In regards to the paycheck for Ivanne Meredith. She notified us on July 20 at 3:00 pm that she was quitting and taking another job with the Bomber’s Squadron. Paychecks arrived at 4:00 pm the same day. Due to corporate policy, final paychecks cannot be issued to positional managers until a procedural checklist/inventory is completed and signed off by the exiting party and the acting general manager. This includes items similar to manuals, recipe binders, handbooks, supply responsibilities, and most importantly security measurements. Portions of this procedural check out have not met the necessary requirements.
More importantly, Ivanne Meredith had illegally accessed the corporate safe. She is on record as stating “ two different managers gave her the combination”. However, the two managers have vehemently denied any such action or permission.
The next payroll date is August 3, 2016. If Ivanne Meredith complies with the standard requirements of the basic check list she will be given her paycheck.
Sadly, what has been overlooked, is how this has affected the other victim and the staff. Obviously, there is quite a bit of finger pointing and conspiracy theories. Perhaps, if only “ALL” the witnesses had taken a lie detector test, everyone would have been put at ease."
Investigators are now checking surveillance cameras in the surrounding area, to see if they captured any images of the suspects or the car they used in their getaway.