Theater robbed while movies play on
June 12, 2008 · Updated 10:01 AM
"Port Orchard Police say suspects robbed by gunpoint the Regal South Sound Cinema 10 on Olney Avenue and Mile Hill Drive in Port Orchard at least twice over the last two weeks.PO Police Chief Alan Townsend said he can't say for sure whether the two incidents-possibly the first of their kind in Kitsap County-are related, because evidence doesn't pinpoint a link. Still, he said, it was strange the same movie theater was robbed twice over a 10-day period.Townsend said that, whatever their identity, the suspects are bold to approach a business located near a heavily trafficked street with potential witnesses so close at hand. For instance, police said the first robbery occurred at 8:11 p.m. on March 22. Two masked men entered the movie multiplex, crossed the lobby and headed straight for the popcorn and snack stand. One carried a backpack while the other toted a shotgun by his side, the barrel directed at the floor. Two clerks in their early 20s told police the suspects both wore bandanas around their faces, much like stereotypical western bandits. Police believe the suspects waited for cinema-goers to immerse themselves in such flicks as Pitch Black, Final Destination or Cider House Rules before making an appearance. Police said the two clerks witnessed the event while their customers didn't know what was happening outside of the screening rooms. Police said video-surveillance cameras installed in the theater weren't functioning that night.It's hard to say if the suspects knew (the cameras) weren't working before they went in there, Townsend said.The backpack-carrying suspect ultimately snatched an undisclosed amount of cash from all the registers in the lobby, and both suspects left shortly after that in an unknown direction.The suspects were described as black males between the ages of 18 and 24. One reportedly was 5 feet 8 inches tall, the other 6-foot. They were wearing blue sweatshirts in addition to the bandanas over their faces, police said.Ten days earlier, on March 12 at about 12:03 a.m., two different clerks locked up the theater and drove to a night drop-off box at a nearby bank. Police said an unknown suspect carrying a handgun in his left hand jumped out of the bushes as the workmates were about to deposit an undisclosed amount of cash. The clerks reported the man said, Give me the bag.They did, and he took off. Moments later, the employees saw a vehicle driving away at high speed. One clerk described it as a big, bulky,'70s-style cars with a flat kind of top, according to police. The other clerk told police the vehicle appeared to be a newer-model station wagon, light in color or red.Townsend said the shock of being robbed at gunpoint could have caused the differences in the car's description.The suspect in the earlier case was described as being 5-foot-9 to 6-feet tall. He was wearing a full ski mask, dark gloves and black clothing. The clerks guessed he was 20 to 25 years old and white, although he was covered from head to toe in clothing."