The robbery of the Chickie's and Pete's in Drexel Hill on Sunday morning was an inside job, police said.
Upper Darby Police Superintendent Michael Chitwood said Tuesday "there's no doubt."
After inspecting video surveillance, Chitwood said the two masked black men — one of which wore a Chickie'ssweatshirt — walked into the restaurant on the 5000 block of Township Line Road off the street just before 10 a.m. and walked right in to the manager's office.
One man then pointed a gun at the female manager's head and demanded she empty the safe — containing about $16,0000 — as well as hand over her wedding band, engagement ring and handbag.
"They knew exactly where to go," Chitwood said. "They didn't even hesitate when they walked in the door. They knew exactly where the office was."
The masked men then forced the manager and three other employees into a freezer before they fled the scene. They may have fled in a silver Toyota Prius, Chitwood said, which was probably stolen.
"They were in and they were out," Chitwood said. "So in our opinion, there's no doubt it was an inside job. We believe they got the intelligence from the inside, so we're not saying it was somebody that works there who did it, but they got the intelligence from somebody who works there."
Pete Ciarrocchi, owner of the popular sports bar chain, is offering a $5,000 reward for information that leads to an arrest and conviction of the thieves.
This was the restaurant chain's first armed robbery in its nearly 40-year history, Chitwood said.
"These guys were real animals," Chitwood said.
He called the robbery an act of "Urban terrorism."
Anyone with information is asked to contact the Upper Darby detective division at 610-734-7693.