The armed robbery of a Hardees Restaurant in Glen Burnie on Friday morning may be linked to a holdup at a Popeye's on Wednesday in which four employees were locked for nearly six hours in a walk-in cooler.

The Hardees employees were ordered into a freezer, but this time the door was not closed or locked. Police say the gunmen rolled a deskin front of the open freezer door and the employees escaped after the robbers left the restaurant.

Police say two men approached an employee, Donna Kay Plantholt, as she was leaving the restaurant at about 12:30 a.m. in the 500 blockof Ordnance Road.

A police report says one of the men put a blue automatic handgun to the back of the woman's head and said, "Move andI'll blow your head off." He ordered the woman into the office with the manager, Keith Carter Phelps.

Police say the man told the employees, "You have three seconds to open the safe or I'll blow your head off."

The report says Phelps opened the safe and emptied a bank bag into a Hardees bag. Police decline to say how much money was taken. The employees then were ordered into the freezer.

Last Wednesday, four employees of Popeye's in Crofton were locked in a freezer after two masked gunmen threatened them with a sawed-off shotgun and an automatic handgun.

The employees were not injured but remained in the cooler until about 6:45 a.m., when co-workers arrived to open therestaurant.

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