A North Texas fast food employee who was held up at gunpoint while on the job says she was fired the very same day.
Augenia Webb said she learned she was fired a few hours after a robber with a gun forced her to a back office to hand over cash at the Terrell Whataburger where she worked as an overnight manager.
Police said a pair of armed robbers held up the Whataburger on the south side of town at 5:08 a.m. on New Year’s Day.
Both men had handguns and were wearing jogging pants and hoodies while covering their faces with bandannas, according to police.
Detectives said the robbers ordered customers to the ground and ordered an employee to the register and took cash. A second employee, a manager, was forced to a back office where one of the robbers took more money. No one was hurt.
Police believe the same pair robbed another Whataburger in nearby Forney the very next morning.
Webb said she was the manager forced into the back office in the Terrell robbery. She said she was fired later that day for failing to follow rules on money drops before the robbery.
Webb told NBC 5 her general manager texted her to ask if she was OK a few hours after the robbery. Then, the manager texted back to say Webb was fired.
“I saw that I was fired. I was like, 'Really? For what?' She said that I didn’t do a drop or something and I broke protocol,” said Webb.
Webb said she called another manager the next day and said he confirmed she was fired because she didn’t follow a rule that managers have to move money from cash registers to a safe every two hours.
“He said he didn’t want to do it, that he wanted to demote me or something, but they said no,” said Webb.
Webb said she was short-staffed on New Year’s Day and was busy working the drive-thru. She added the area manager told her at least one more employee would be fired at the Forney location, which was also robbed. Whataburger says it is investigating at the Forney location, but no one has been terminated at this point.
“It’s really traumatizing when you have a gun put to your head and you’re told to do stuff and you find out just a couple of hours later that you’ve lost your job on top of it,” said Webb. “That’s pretty messed up.”
Webb, a single mother, said she would like her job back. She said she’s willing to accept discipline for breaking the rules, but doesn’t believe she deserved to lose her job. Webb said the robbers took money from the safe anyway.
In a written statement, Whataburger said:
“The safety of our employees and customers is our top priority. The surveillance footage of the recent robberies at our Terrell and Forney restaurants is upsetting to watch, and we understand why our employees were shaken up by these events. We immediately offered counseling and chaplain services to employees at both locations to help them cope. We’re also working closely with police to assist them in investigating these robberies.
After conducting an internal investigation at our Terrell restaurant, we determined that our cash handling policy was not followed correctly. Our cash handling policies are important and were created to promote employee and customer safety. We made an employee decision that we deemed appropriate as a result of our investigation. We can’t provide further specifics due to employee confidentiality, but believe we have taken appropriate action.” – Whataburger of Mesquite Franchise
Police in Terrell and Forney are still looking for the robbers. In Terrell, police said the robbers fled the store on foot and later entered a vehicle headed north on Farm-to-Market Road 148 and then west on Spur 557. A possible suspect vehicle description is a light grey or smokey blue four door sedan, possibly a Nissan Altima. Tipsters can reach the Terrell Police Department Criminal Investigation Division Sgt. Whitworth at 469-474-2642.
In Forney, on Jan. 2 at 4:30 a.m., police believe the same robbers hit the Whataburger at 962 E. U.S. Highway 80. Both men wore dark clothes and had their faces covered. Anyone with information about the robbery can contact the Forney Police Criminal Investigations Department at 972-564-7607.
Police say you can also leave information anonymously at Kaufman County Crime Stoppers at 1-877-847-7522.