5 men sought for robbing Long Beach restaurant at gunpoint

- Long Beach police Thursday were searching for five men who carried out a dramatic armed robbery at a taco restaurant, putting guns to the heads of employees and making off with several hundred dollars in cash.

The men burst into Tacos Mexico in the 5800 block of Cherry Avenue around 11 p.m. Wednesday, according to the Long Beach Police Department.

Witnesses said the culprits, who wore ski masks, damaged video surveillance equipment at the restaurant, then held the employees at gunpoint.

"Everybody was terrified. Everybody had the gun touching the back of their head,'' Monica Rochin, whose family runs the restaurant, told news outlets.

She told the station the restaurant's cook heard the gun against his head being cocked, and "he thought he was going to be shot (in) the head, execution style.''

Rochin said the robbers appeared to be nervous.

"It came to a point where one of the masks fell, and they picked it back up, and then one of the guns fell and he picked it back up. So they were nervous. You could tell they were new to this,'' she told news outlets.

Rochin said the culprits got away with several hundred dollars and three cell phones. The heist left employees traumatized. She said one of the female employees "was just sick to her stomach.''

"She was just throwing up and it was a mess. Everybody was in shock, even the customers,'' she said.

It was unclear how many customers were in the eatery at the time.

Rochin told news outlets the restaurant had also been robbed last Saturday.

No description of the suspects was released. Rochin said they drove away in a newer Honda Civic-type car.

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