The Valley Inn, just off the 405 freeway in Sherman Oaks, is about the 200th restaurant in the Valley to be hit during a spree that has been especially hard on eateries along Ventura Boulevard. Two robbers armed with handguns came in about 9:20 last night. They got an undisclosed amount from the register and about $200 from a customer.
YOUNG WOMAN: “Here? It’s a coffee shop.”
YOUNG MAN: “What’s wrong with that? People never rob restaurants, why not? Bars, liquor stores, gas stations, you get your head blown off stickin’ up one of them. Restaurants, on the other hand, you catch with their pants down. They’re not expecting to get robbed, or not as expecting.”
More after the jump.
YOUNG WOMAN: (taking to idea) “I bet in places like this you could cut down on the hero factor.”
YOUNG MAN: “Correct. Just like banks, these places are insured. The managers don’t give a fuck, they’re just tryin’ to get ya out the door before you start pluggin’ diners. Waitresses, forget it, they ain’t takin’ a bullet for the register. Busboys, some wetback gettin’ paid a dollar fifty a hour gonna really give a fuck you’re stealin’ from the owner. Customers are sittin’ there with food in their mouths, they don’t know what’s goin’ on. One minute they’re havin’ a Denver omelette, next minute somebody’s stickin’ a gun in their face.
The Young Woman visibly takes in the idea. The Young Man continues in a low voice.
YOUNG MAN: “See, I got the idea last liquor store we stuck up. ‘Member all those customers kept comin’ in?”
YOUNG WOMAN: “Yeah.”
YOUNG MAN: “They you got the idea to take everybody’s wallet.”
YOUNG WOMAN: “Uh-huh.”
YOUNG MAN: “That was a good idea.”
YOUNG WOMAN: “Thank you.”
YOUNG MAN: “We made more from the wallets then we did the register.”
YOUNG WOMAN: “Yes we did.”
YOUNG MAN: “A lot of people go to restaurants.”
YOUNG WOMAN: “A lot of wallets.”
UPDATE: LA Observed has more on the recent robbery (again, life imitating art?):
Valley Inn robbery more aggressive than first described
Susan Abram reports in the Daily News that two handgun-toting robbers in ski masks and gloves came in with a gun to the neck of a customer who had been outside smoking. “They jumped over the bar and held the bartender at gunpoint,” [owner] Sophia Brodetsky said. “They told everybody to get on the floor. The were yelling and screaming, `Put your money on the table!”‘ Police are frustrated that robberies at Valley restaurants are rising, and the business community is now officially worried: “We’re very concerned about it,” said Brendan Huffman, president of the Valley Industry and Commerce Association.