Police have arrested two Filipino men on Thursday for their involvement in two cases of armed robbery at separate Burger King outlets.
In the most recent case, the assailants carried out their modus operandi at a International Plaza branch on Wednesday morning.
One of the suspects, a 32-year-old, allegedly walked into the fast-food outlet and held a female staff, 61, in a headlock while placing a knife under her throat.
The man, whose face was covered with a surgical mask, then demanded that a male staff hand over all the money that was in the safe. The other man, a 30-year-old believed to be his accomplice, waited outside the building.
The robbery attempt was thwarted after a third crew member ran out of the outlet and sought help. It was said that the startled robber threw his knife to the ground and fled empty-handed. The staff gave chase but eventually lost sight of him.
The Straits Times reported that the suspect left a trail of clues behind, including a bicycle chain, which he intended to use to lock the doors of the outlet — and two rolls of duct tape.
Police said they had received a call at about 7.30am informing them of the incident. Through follow-up investigations, they managed to establish the identity of the suspect by inspecting closed-circuit television (CCTV) footage.
He was arrested at Changi Airport later that night as he attempted to flee the country.
Meanwhile on Thursday morning, the police managed to apprehend his accomplice who was in the vicinity of Marina Bay.
The 32-year-old suspect will be charged in court for 'attempt to commit armed robbery' and if convicted, faces imprisonment of up to seven years and not less than 18 strokes of the cane. Police said that investigations against the 30-year-old suspect are ongoing.
However, the police believe that the older suspect might also be involved in another armed-robbery attempt which occurred on 16 April this year.
The man had entered a Burger King outlet located at the underground shopping mall Esplanade X-change around 1am on the pretext of conducting maintenance work.
Soon after, he confronted a female staff — who was alone at that time — and held a knife to her throat while demanding that she open the safe.
After emptying the safe of S$7,000, he gagged her and bound her wrists and ankles with duct tape. The staff eventually managed to free herself and call for help.
The police are still investigating whether there were others involved in the attempt.