WILKES-BARRE TWP. — One of two men charged in the January 2013 armed robbery at Wendy’s Restaurant where employees were locked in a freezer and a manager forced at gunpoint to open a safe waived his right to a preliminary hearing on Wednesday.
Kristopher Rasmussen, 29, last known address as Melbourne, Florida, waived a single count of robbery to Luzerne County Court.
Township police withdrew two other counts of robbery, four counts of criminal conspiracy and a single count of theft against Rasmussen.
Rasmussen and Aaron N. Flowers, 25, last known address as Sugar Notch, allegedly entered the restaurant when two employees opened a rear door to take out trash at about 12:30 a.m. on Jan. 12, 2013.
Police allege Rasmussen and Flowers concealed their faces with masks and forced employees to surrender their wallets, purses and car keys, according to the criminal complaints.
One of the employees recognized a red Nike drawstring book bag being held by one of the suspects and said, “Aaron, I know it’s you.”
Employees were forced into a freezer at which the freezer door was barricaded with a heavy cart.
The manager was forced at gunpoint to open a safe, the complaints say.
Employees came out of the freezer after 15 minutes and one of them realized his Saturn was missing. Police said the car was recovered in Pittston Township with one of the guns and a bandana.
Rasmussen and Flowers were captured in New York City two days after the robbery.
Court records in New York say Rasmussen is serving a five year prison sentence and Flowers is serving an eight year prison sentence for robbery in New York City.
Rasmussen was extradited to Luzerne County on June 30 when he was arraigned on the criminal complaint. Flowers has not been arraigned on the charges filed by township police.