NORTH LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (KTHV) - Some local parents wanted to give their kids a fun day before school begins. Instead, they were terrified when the Chuck E. Cheese in North Little Rock was robbed at gunpoint.
“Why would somebody rob Chuck E. Cheese?” asked Deondrick Gulley. “A place where kids come and families come to have fun with their kids.”
Three men walked into the Chuck E. Cheese restaurant on Landers Road a little after 10:00 a.m. Wednesday. According to Sgt. Brian Dedrick of the North Little Rock Police Department, the men had a silver or chrome-plated handgun and a longer gun that may have been a submachine gun. They pointed the weapons at employees, took some cash, and then ran out through a back door.
“I don’t know what it’s coming to. Crime has to stop. And they’re next door, and we honor our neighbors; we look out for our neighbors,” said Gulley, a sales consultant for Butler Furniture Depot. “We had a few detectives come in and ask questions, in reference to our security system, and we gave them all the details that we had.”
The robbery happened just a few minutes after the restaurant opened, but there were already families there, trying to have a play day before most schools open next week.
“I noticed that there were several kids inside the restaurant when I went in,” Sgt. Dedrick mentioned. “And so, yeah, they’re very scared. You know, it is something…I don’t remember the last time we had something like this.”
There are two other businesses in the same vicinity, one on either side of the Chuck E. Cheese. Workers from both stores said they did not notice anything until the police cars arrived.
“I feel like it’s a secure area,” Gulley said, “but you know, with today’s society, criminals, they’ll do anything. So you just have to be prepared.”
The restaurant closed for several hours Wednesday, to the surprise of many parents who arrived throughout the day with their children. Like Gulley, many of them could not understand why a restaurant such as Chuck E. Cheese would be a target for armed robbers.
“A lot of crime happens for reasons unknown,” Gulley stated. “I mean, whether it’s drugs, or whether you’re in a financial crisis. But there is no right, and no right will ever come out of wrong. So once again, if I tell you: don’t do it. Because one thing about it: the man up above…you’re gonna account for it. You’re gonna have to be accounted for it.”
In a written statement, a spokesperson for CEC Entertainment, the company that owns Chuck E. Cheese, said: “We are aware of an incident that occurred on August 10, 2016 in our North Little Rock, AR store, in which an armed robbery took place. The local police were contacted and arrived immediately and fortunately there were no injuries to report.
“The safety of our guests and staff is a primary concern for us, just as it is top-of-mind for the families and parents who visit us. In the interest of our guests, we are working with the police fully during their ongoing investigation and therefore cannot offer more detail at this time.”
Anyone with information about the robbery is asked to call the North Little Rock Police Department at (501) 758-1234.