2012-02-23 / Local & State

Pa. Hot Dog Shop Owner Robbed Banks

PITTSBURGH (AP) – A well-liked hot dog shop owner told police he robbed a pair of banks because his business is deep in debt.

Neighbors said Captain Barnes, 37, had worked as a chef in Pittsburgh- area restaurants and had his own shop, Dormont Dogs, since 2008.

“We’re all just heartsick,” said Kelly James, who owns a nearby cafĂ© where Barnes recently worked as a guest chef. “It’s just not something he would do,” she said of the robberies. “He’s a great father, everyone in Dormont loved him and loved his shop. He must have been in some serious trouble. He had to have been desperate.”

Barnes allegedly robbed one bank Monday, demanding money at gunpoint and claiming he’d planted a bomb. At another robbery Wednesday he allegedly told tellers he knew where they lived and would hurt them if they did not comply with his demands for cash.

Pittsburgh police said Barnes was tackled by grocery store patrons after robbing a bank inside the store Wednesday afternoon.

Authorities recovered more than $ 4,000 from Wednesday’s robbery. Investigators said Barnes made off with an undisclosed amount of money in the earlier robbery.

Barnes was arraigned early Thursday on five counts of robbery.

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