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Local News in Brief : Restaurant Workers Truss Would-Be Robber

March 01, 1987

An armed robber attempting to hold up a fast-food restaurant in North Hollywood was overpowered by two employees who tied him up and held him for Los Angeles police, authorities said Saturday.

The robbery suspect, identified as James M. Smith, 33, of Sylmar, entered a Kentucky Fried Chicken store at 7617 Vineland Ave. at 2:45 p.m. Friday afternoon, and forced the two employees, Julio Garcia, 21, and Eduardo Hernandez, also in his 20s, to open the store safe and cash register, said Lt. Ron Bergmann.

When Smith turned his attention to the cash register, Garcia kicked him, forcing him to drop his gun, Bergmann said. Smith grabbed the weapon again, but only fired one stray shot before Hernandez joined the struggle and subdued him, Bergmann said.

Garcia and Hernandez tied Smith up, put him in the store's walk-in freezer, then notified police, Bergmann said.

Smith was booked on suspicion of armed robbery and held at Van Nuys Jail, Bergmann said. He added that Smith is also suspected of holding up the same restaurant previously.

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