Gunmen rob busy Denny's on I-Drive in Orlando

Patrons, employees forced to rear of store, witnesses say

Author: Daniel Dahm, Managing Editor of ClickOrlando.com, ddahm@clickorlando.com
Sheli Muniz, Reporter, smuniz@wkmg.com
Published On: Jan 14 2014 09:17:21 AM EST   Updated On: Jan 14 2014 06:39:40 PM EST
ORLANDO, Fla. -

Gunmen forced 10 diners and three employees to the rear of a diner located in the tourist district of Orlando during a robbery.

[AUDIO: 911 call 1 | 911 call 2 | VIDEO: Scroll below to watch surveillance video]

The robbery happened around 6 a.m. at the Denny's at 11037 International Drive.

Witnesses told Local 6 that customers were eating breakfast when gunmen entered the restaurant and made them get on their knees in the back of the building.  Patrons were forced to leave their cellphones at their tables, and workers were also ordered to the rear of the restaurant, witnesses said.

No one was injured, and it's not known how much money was taken.

Video from the restaurant showed police tape surrounding the building and detectives interviewing witnesses.

Orange County sheriff's detectives continue to investigate whether the robbery is linked to a recent string of other "takeover" robberies at Central Florida hotels.

Stephanie, who was too afraid to give her last name, told Local 6, "we were just about to get up, some guy runs in with a gun pointing it at us. It took us like 10 seconds to realize that we're getting robbed."

Orange County deputies say one robber was in a black sweatshirt, another in red. Both had their faces covered with a bandana.

"Stay in the room for five minutes, if you get out then we're going to shoot you," recalled Stephanie.

Stephanie said they stole personal items from all of the customers, and snatched a ring right off her friend's hand.

"I could tell they were nervous. They were young, they were young and dumb," she said.

"It's very concerning, because they're getting very brazen about doing this you'd think with this amount of witnesses that it's even more of a gamble," said Orange County Sheriff's Deputy, Granger Prunier.

Deputies are looking through surveillance video now to see if the men are responsible for the series of robberies in our area over the past month or are these copycats.

"It wasn't something that was expected, we just expected to have a nice breakfast, hang out, and go back to work and it didn't turn out like that," said Stephanie.