A Maitland restaurant was the target of an armed robbery on Friday, Jan. 15 before it opened.
According to the Maitland Police Department, Theodore Capretta, an employee who was working alone at Athena Roasted Chicken and Deli, went outside to receive a shipment of bread from the back of the building. He told police that as he opened the back door two men approached him, each carrying a handgun.
The men, later identified as Donte Grant, 21, and Sydik Domenic Bullock, 20, demanded he go back inside and then one of the suspects hit Capretta in the head with a gun.
Capretta was then ordered to the floor and asked where the money is kept. He surrendered his wallet, but the robbers weren't interested. One of the suspects said, "Tell us where the money is or we will kill you," Capretta told police.
After the suspects' failed attempts at opening the two cash registers, they broke into a desk in the back of the kitchen and stole more than $2,000.
Athena Owner Andreas Afxendiou said that he suspects a former employee, but did not want to make any accusations until more information is available.
As the suspects fled, Capretta called the police.
A witness reported seeing the suspects run across Lake Avenue into the Park Lake Townhouses.
A K-9 led the police through the complex to the back of 801 Park Lake Place, where officers spotted one of the suspects hiding beneath a bench in a screened-in porch. When the K-9 began barking, Grant and Bullock, crawled out from under the bench and surrendered.
Both suspects were arrested and charged with robbery while armed with a deadly weapon and wearing a mask, and aggravated battery.
Afxendiou said he was glad the suspects were caught.
"We really have to compliment the Maitland police for their extremely fast response," he said. "Unfortunately these things happen everywhere." Afxendiou added that he is considering adding more security cameras.
Longtime Athena employee Mary Tuttle said that someone attempted to break in the front door a few weeks ago, but that nothing had come of it. She also said she cannot remember a robbery like this happening since 1999.
General Manager Jayne Narducci of Einstein Bros. Bagels, which is located in the same plaza, agreed that these incidents of crime are rare.
"That was kind of unusual," Narducci said.
Athena Roasted Chicken and Deli, 487 S. Orlando Ave., has been in business since 1988.
Contact Athena at 407-539-0669 or download the menu at Athenachicken.com.