Conway police credit every day protocol in response to Wendy's armed robbery

Conway police credit every day protocol in response to Wendy's armed robbery
CONWAY, SC (WMBF)- A Conway police officer passing by the Wendy's restaurant on Church Street early Monday morning saw two men and a woman in the parking lot and decided to check it out. The officer soon realized an armed robbery was happening.

As the details began to unfold, police said the crime is a prime example of how their training pays off.

"We treat everyone as a suspect until we can verify otherwise in these scenes, because that's what can happen and that's what did happen," Lieutenant Selena Small said.

Small said the suspect, Ebon Roberts, tried to pose as a victim when police arrived on scene.

"He forced the male victim to give him his work clothes, so when he exited the building he would look like a Wendy's employee," Small explained.

Police say Roberts and a woman were cuffed and secured for questioning even though they appeared to be the victims. Moments later, they found the truth.

"It was clear right from the get-go for us. When we talked to her, that this guy was one of the suspects and we were able to determine where the other victim was inside of Wendy's," Small said.

Small said if they had treated Roberts as a victim, it all could have ended differently.

"Further harm could have taken place to one of the officers, because we didn't know where the weapon was at that time. [Roberts] could have potentially escaped the scene," Small explained.

Police say they found the gun stashed away inside along with the true male victim.

Lt. Small pointed out another huge assumption could have been made from the beginning.

"If the officer would have made an assumption that these were just two people going into a business late at night, closing down, and wasn't very observant, we could have potentially missed a big scene," Small said.

Lieutenant Small hopes what happened in the case will give the public a better understanding why officers act the way they do when they arrive to a scene. Even though the victim may have nothing to do with the crime, Small said officers can never be too careful.

"We don't know who the good guy is, and we don't know who the bad guy is. Just follow our commands, we'll bring you to a safe point, you may be handcuffed and secured until we can determine who's who in the incident," Small explained.

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