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Chipotle Workers Locked In Walk-In Freezer During Robbery

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An image of the suspect. (Courtesy of the Orange Police Department)
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The hits just keep coming for Chipotle. Last year, the franchise's stores were linked with E. coli, salmonella and norovirus. And, just last week, they ditched their noodle-centric ShopHouse concept after deciding that it wasn't "an attractive unit economic model." Currently, shares for Chipotle are selling at less than half of what it was during its peak in August of 2015, when it was nearly $750 a pop.

On Wednesday, a Chipotle location in the Orange County was robbed earlier this morning by an armed man wearing basketball shorts.

According to the OC Register, a man walked into the Chipotle location on the 3400 block of E. Chapman Avenue at about 8 a.m. and brandished a handgun. He demanded money, and workers emptied out the registers to hand over an undisclosed sum to him. Once the transaction was made, the suspect then led the employees into the walk-in freezer and locked them in.

The suspect is described as a black man who weighs around 180 pounds and is about 5 feet 7 inches tall, according to KTLA. In security footage he is seen wearing a hooded jacket, white T-shirt and black basketball shorts. He was last seen on surveillance video walking west on Chapman Avenue.

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And what about those Chipotle employees? Luckily, it turned out there was a way to unlock that icy freezer from within. "There was an interior opening mechanism that allowed them to get outside of the freezer," Mike Monjaraz, sergeant watch commander of the Orange Police Department, told LAist.

And it looks like everything's returned to normal. LAist called the Chipotle location and found out that the store is up and running already. Though, when asked for further details, we were invited to call the corporate line.

Does this all suggest that Chipotle, in the face of peril, is able to put up a show of great resilience? We sure hope that's the case.

Anyone who has information about the case can call the Orange Police Department at 714-744-7444.