NEW ORLEANS, LA (WVUE) - "I mean it just happened so fast, and I felt like they must have been watching us for a long time," an armed robbery victim said.
It was just 10 minutes before closing time at Noodle and Pie restaurant Uptown when two masked men, one wielding a gun, burst through the back door.
"I guess the first guy with the gun, he was the shorter guy. He asked him where the money bag was. He took him to the dresser where it was and then to the register," the victim said.
An employee, who FOX 8 will not identify, said she was in the process of locking the front door when it happened.
"The taller guy started beckoning me to come over there, but I wasn't moving from the front. I know you're supposed to comply with criminals, but I was in shock," the victim said.
She said she froze.
The robbery, though, was quick, and she said the two masked men grabbed the money and took off running.
Amelia Leonardi lives nearby and was walking her dog just minutes after it happened.
"A police car stopped me and asked me if I'd seen two men with hoodies walk by. I said, no. Then he told me what had happened here, so It was kind of frightening," Leonardi said.
People who frequent the area along State and Magazine streets are concerned. They remember the high-profile robberies of nearby restaurants in the past year, and then just two days ago, masked gunmen walked into Lakeview Harbor demanding everyone get to the ground during an attempted armed robbery.
The NOPD isn't connecting the Lakeview attempted armed robbery to this one, but it's still on everyone's mind.
"You know, I'm sure everyone around here is wondering when it's going to happen next," Leonardi said.
"It's very scary, especially since I work right across the street from it and I live in the area," Casey Young said.
Young is the manager of Reginelli's.
"It happened around 11 o'clock, and they were just closing up shop too," Young said.
Young said employees are told to always stay alert.
Police do have surveillance video of the robbery, but so far no one's been arrested.
If you know anything, you're asked to call Crimestoppers at (504) 822-1111.