NORTON, Ohio - Norton police have released surveillance video and pictures from two violent robberies inside The Copper Mine Internet Cafe on Barber Road.
In the second incident from Oct. 28, a female employee was pistol-whipped across her face after complying with a gunman's demand for cash from the register.
"He lunged forward and struck her across the face with a handgun for no reason whatsoever," Det. Larry Lane said.
Lane said a woman served as a decoy for two men, who ordered 10 to 15 people to the ground during the takeover robbery. One of the men pointed a gun at several people. The other man pointed a stun gun at patrons.
The woman was not wearing a mask and detectives took surveillance video to the High Technology Computer Forensics Lab at the University of Akron to have it enhanced.
The lab created enhanced still pictures. Police are hopeful that someone will recognize her and possibly get tips on her identity or the identities of the masked men.
"We believe they are very dangerous individuals. Our biggest concern is someone is going to get shot," Lane said.
Stan Smith, high tech forensic specialist, said UA's lab, which has only been open for a few months, helps analyze cell phone, computer and video camera evidence for law enforcement.
"If we can assist law enforcement on any level-- local, county and perhaps the feds-- our lab is available," Smith said.
In the first incident from Sept. 30, three masked men burst into the internet cafe, tossed several people to the ground and robbed them, along with cash from the register.
Lane said one of the customers suffered a broken toe and a broken vertebrae in her back.
Investigators said they believe the two robberies are connected.
If you have any information on the crimes, you're asked to call Summit County Crimestoppers at 330-434-COPS or the Norton Police Department at 330-825-2491. You may remain anonymous and could be eligible for a reward up to $2,000.
In addition, the owner of the internet cafe is offering a $2,500 reward for information that leads to the robbery suspects.
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