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Police say they got a call around 7 a.m. of a robbery at the Acapulco restaurant on Sunset Boulevard near Virgil Avenue in Hollywood. They say a robber with a gun and a bandana around his mouth confronted a restaurant employee at the dumpster just outside. He then led the employee at gunpoint into the restaurant.
Police say inside the gunman waved the weapon around in front of several other employees, but he ran into problems when he couldn't communicate with the workers.
"He pointed the gun around. He was speaking. I think there was a communication issue between English and Spanish there," said Captain Bill Murphy from the LAPD Northeast Division.
Police say there were a total of six employees at the restaurant when the attempted robbery took place. They say the employees got frightened, hid and called 911.
"The employees panicked and took off running," said Cpt. Murphy. "Three ran upstairs and locked themselves into the female bathroom upstairs. And three hid downstairs and they lost sight of the actual suspect."
When police arrived at the scene they locked down the restaurant. Authorities say they were able to go into the restaurant and safely get all six employees out.
Police say they did a thorough search inside of the restaurant for the suspect, but they didn't find him. Authorities believe at some point during the attempted robbery, he fled the scene because he could not communicate with the workers.