Man uses toy gun to rob diner - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Man uses toy gun to rob diner

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January 31, 2008

Bainbridge -- Everyone at Yesterday's Diner describes it the same way: a family place. 

"Most of our customers are regular customers. We just don't think it could happen to us," says waitress Jane Campbell.  That's why when they arrived for work this morning, they were shocked at what they found.

Campbell describes the scene saying, "The parking lot was full of officers, the employees were outside and so was the owner, Rick Boutwell. I came up and said what's going on and they said 'We have been robbed.'"

"A gentleman wearing a hooded mask, the front part was cut out, came in and the waitress was sitting at the table. And he pointed a gun at her and told her to give him all the money or he was going to shoot her," says owner Rick Boutwell.

The waitress handed over the money in the register: $150 .  "I've told them if someone comes in wanting money, has a gun, give them whatever they want, its not worth trying to fight over," says Boutwell.  After the robber grabbed the cash, he came outside to a tan Chevy Malibu and drove away. It wasn't long before police were hot on his trail.

The quick capture of the suspect, 19 year-old Dominique Whigham, was thanks in part to the waitresses description, and partly to one of those faithful customers. 

"We have a regular customer that comes in the same time every morning, that saw her with her hands up and he immediately called 911 and the police were dispatched before the robber ever left the building," says Boutwell.

The diner will soon recover the stolen money. . . Peace of mind, might take a while longer. 

Police found the gun used in the robbery inside Whigham's car. It turned out to be a realistic toy. They also found pictures of Whigham flashing gang signs.  Police may also charge him with a robbery at the Bainbridge Wal-mart a few weeks ago.

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