'This is a robbery!' Crook hits pizza joint at gunpoint, might be linked to other South Sound robberies

PUYALLUP -- For the third time in two weeks, a Pizza Time restaurant was held up at gunpoint, with the employees'  hands zip-tied while the crook made his escape.

The latest happened Monday night at the Pizza Time in Puyallup and at least one victim believes the gunman is connected to all three crimes.

“I was standing here looking out the window,” said manager Justin Rux. “He came through the back door, said this is a robbery.”

Rux said he and his two terrified co-workers did exactly as the gunman told them Monday night.

The gunman forced them into the bathroom – and had them tie themselves up with plastic zip ties.

The same thing happened at the Olympia Pizza Time restaurant last week.

“It’s deplorable what this guy’s done," said Brad Beadle, the store’s owner.

During that robbery, the crook was caught on camera wearing a ski mask and a dark gray sweatshirt. Beadle said his employees are having a hard time getting back to normal.

“A couple of them are still pretty shaken up,” he said.

Rux watched the surveillance video from Olympia, and he believes the robber is the same man that terrorized him Monday night.

“The same, that’s how he walked,” said Rux. “He was walking around the store when he came in.”

“If this is connected to a series, it seems he’s trying to do these more and more often,” said Puyallup Police Chief Bryan Jeter.

“Things are matching up,” he said. “The zip ties, the description of the weapon, the description of the male himself and the M.O. is very similar.”

Investigators are looking to see if the crimes in Olympia, Puyallup and Spanaway are linked to Monday’s hit at Pizza Time.

Rux worries the thief might make a second robbery attempt Puyallup, searching for even more cash.

“Hopefully he gets caught soon,” Rux said.

In Puyallup, the thief got away with about $1,000.

Employees here said they saw the robber get away in a newer-model, tan Subaru Legacy, 4-door car.

If you have information in any of these cases, call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS.