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Santa Maria Steakhouse Robbery Suspects Sought

The owner of a popular Santa Maria steakhouse is working with police to find those involved in a brazen robbery at the restaurant that was all caught on tape.

Santa Maria Cool Hand Luke’s Restaurant owner Scott Van Pelt stares at the images captured by his in-house security surveillance cameras in disbelief.

A man and woman, described by Santa Maria Police as Hispanic, can be seen on tape taking an undisclosed amount of cash in what’s believed to be the first robbery at the popular steakhouse since it opened nearly ten years ago.

“I just want to get it out there, get the word out”, Van Pelt tells Central Coast News about sharing the surveillance camera video, “these people look like they have done this before.”

Van Pelt says his on-duty manager was called to a table of customers who had just finished eating just before closing time Monday night.

Van Pelt says that’s when the robbery suspects made their move.

“They said do what they they say and no one gets hurt”, Van Pelt says, “it scared the bejesus out of her.”

The security camera catches the two robbery suspects and the restaurant manager in the back office where the suspects take the cash.

While no weapon is seen on tape in the holdup, Van Pelt believes the suspects threatened his manager with a weapon or gun during the holdup.

The restaurant manager was not hurt during the ordeal.

The two suspects can be seen leaving the restaurant with the stolen cash, and even more food they had ordered to go, before driving off in a waiting car.

“It’s a small town, everyone knows me and my son”, Van Pelt says about the robbery, “we know nearly everyone who comes through the door, and if we don’t, we try to get to know them.”

Santa Maria Police issued a press release about the robbery Monday night and are asking for the public’s help in finding the suspects involved.

Anyone with information about the robbery can call Santa Maria Police anonymously at (805) 928-3781.

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