Four workers spent 15 tense minutes locked in a cooler during an armed robbery at a Loop deli.
"We were just shoved in there and locked up," said Sara Funk, manager of Marcello's Market and Deli at 155 N. Wacker Dr. "I was catching my breath and trying to think of what is the next best move."
A gunman walked into the deli around 3:15 p.m. Wednesday and sat at a corner table wearing a mask that showed only his eyes, according to a police report. Moments later, he approached a man who worked at the deli, grabbed his collar, put a gun to the back of his head and ordered him to put his hands up.
"Get into the cooler," he told the man, Funk and two other workers, the report said.
"I just tried to stay calm in those moments as much as possible," said Funk, who is engaged. "You do what they want you to do."
Funk said she and the three workers weren't sure what to do, afraid of angering the gunman, but eventually they used their cell phones to call 911.
"I literally just had to let my heart calm down, and once I took 10 seconds to breathe I just said, 'Hand me your cell,' " Funk said.
The robber was gone by the time police arrived. Store video showed the gunman grabbing two drawers of money after putting on rubber gloves and fleeing out a back office door with between $2,000 and $3,000.
One of the workers suffered a laceration to the back of the head and was treated at
Funk said the robber was about 6-foot-2, was wearing a purple mask and a black jacket, and was carrying a bright green bag.
Funk said she is “definitely’’ planning on stepping up security measures.