Union Township police, near Cincinnati, on Saturday night responded to a robbery alarm at the Golden Corral Restaurant in Union Township.
Two men identified as Kenneth Chipemba, 37, of Springboro, and Kabinga Kwambana, 22, of Cincinnati allegedly slipped in a back door around closing time, tied up employees, and tried to make off with bags of cash.
Sgt. Scott Blankenship, Union Township Police, says “All the employees were gathered around into an area, close to the managers office. They were bound at that time.”
But officers weren’t far. With the police station just a half a mile from the Golden Corral, the crooks didn’t have much time as officers quickly surrounded the restaurant. A quick thinking employee inside tripped an alarm. Sgt. Blankenship comments “Once they arrived, they quickly set up a perimeter, which kept these guys in a closed area of that building. Great job by our patrol officers and our patrol division. They surrounded the place.”
The suspects tried to escape out the back door, carrying a bag of cash, but were met by an officer who arrested them. “Neither one of the suspects engaged law enforcement at the time. They both surrendered without incident.”
Investigators believe the same 2 men could be responsible for similar restaurant robberies in Green Township, Erlanger, and more recently, Dayton and Grove City near Columbus. All of those incidents happened within the past 3 months. “These 2 suspects are incarcerated right now, and we’re going to do our best to keep those subjects there while other people that need to take a look at any evidence that we have to build their case and make it stronger.”
When police initially responded, one officer entered the restaurant through an opened door. At that point, he made eye contact with an employee who was able to indicate to him that something bad was definitely happening inside. That officer took that nonverbal form of communication and quickly exited and called for back up.
Sgt. Blankenship said it was that quick thinking by both the employee and the officer that allowed police to make what he called a perfectly executed arrest.
One of two men caught in the act of robbing the local restaurant is a college student who asked a judge to set him free so he could make his class. But Kenneth Chipemba of Springboro and Kabinga Kwambana of Cincinnati are not getting out of jail though, unless they can come up with $750,000 bond each.
Chipemba told the judge he is a student at Wright State University. His lawyer asked for his release so he could get back to classes.
Kwambana is enrolled to begin classes at the University of Cincinnati this coming fall.