Branford police said a group of armed men tracked and targeted an ATM company employee on Tuesday and it appears they got away with a "significant" amount of cash.
At least three masked men attacked, pistol-whipped and robbed the male employee in the Lakeview shopping plaza at 150 West Main St. just after noon on Tuesday.
Isabella Kaminsky was in class at Branford Academy of Hair and Cosmetology’, which is in the plaza, when the man was attacked.
“We were like ‘What do we do? Do we lock the doors?’," Kaminsky said.
Police said the ATM worker, who was not armed, had just filled up the cash machine inside Allegra’s Cafe. When he came back out, the robbers confronted him.
“They forced him into his vehicle. They assaulted him and then they stole an undetermined amount of cash," Capt. Geoff Morgan, of the Branford Police Department, said.
Investigators said the robbers hit the victim in the face and head with a gun before forcing him to hand over money likely meant for other ATMs.
The men then took off in a white Chevrolet four-door sedan. In the only photo a witness was able to take, police were unable make out the license plate.
“The likelihood is that this was very well planned out," Morgan said.
Fairfield-based United Cash Systems maintains and replenishes cash to the ATM inside Allegra’s Cafe. NBC Connecticut reached out to the company to learn more about security protocol for employees, but requests for information were not immediately answered.
Police said they are trying to track down more witnesses in hopes of tracking down the armed robbers.
Anyone with information should call the Branford Police Department at 203-481-4241 or contact the Branford Crime Tip Line at (203) 315-3909.