Police Searching for Suspects in IHOP Robbery

December 3, 2012 Updated Dec 3, 2012 at 9:09 PM EDT

By Ed Reilly

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December 3, 2012 Updated Dec 3, 2012 at 9:09 PM EDT

CHEEKTOWAGA, N.Y. (WKBW) An armed robbery attempt at a popular restaurant Sunday night created a very dangerous situation for over three hours.

Police say two men entered the IHOP restaurant at the Thruway Plaza around 8:40pm and then forced six people into a back office area.

The suspects were armed with a black handgun and a knife, and they tried to get employees to open a safe.

According to police, one of the suspects threatened to shoot the restaurant manager if he did not succeed in getting the safe combinations from his regional manager.

Police say a call was made to the regional manager, who was able to alert police.

During the confusion with the robbers, a quick thinking employee shut and locked the office door - separating the group of six customers and workers from the intruders.

Another person secured a back door which completely isolated the frightened individuals from the armed men.

Cheektowaga police and their SWAT team quickly responded to the possible hostage situation and successfully freed the people who were locked inside

A tactical search of the building by the Cheektowaga SWAT Team revealed that the two suspects had fled moments before police arrived.

Police are now looking for two black males.

The first one was described as being 6-feet tall and and wearing a gray hoody with a green scarf around his face. This suspect carried a black handgun.

His accomplice is described as a black male about 5-foot 4-inches tall, wearing a dark hoody and carrying a knife.

Anyone with information is asked to call Cheektowaga Police at 716-686-3505.

The IHOP restaurant was closed on Monday with a sign posted on the door saying it will be re-opened at 7am on Tuesday.