Man in Groucho Marx-like mask robs Bellingham pizza place

An armed man in a Groucho Marx-like mask corralled three young men into a corner during a robbery late Thursday, Nov. 6, at a Westside Pizza restaurant.

The masked man carrying a black semiautomatic handgun walked through the back door of the pizza business at 4260 Cordata Parkway at 9:50 p.m. He wore military boots and a dark heavy winter raincoat with a hood, according to police.

A Westside Pizza manager gave the following account:

The man waved the handgun around and ordered the three employees on duty into an area near the center of the business. Two of the employees were ordered to get down on the floor, while a third worked the till. The robber took the employees’ car keys and, when a worker begged him not to steal his car, he assured him he wouldn’t. But he didn’t want to be followed.

The robber told the employees to call the cops as he fled out the front door. He hopped onto a mountain bike and rode south, in the direction of the Whatcom Transportation Authority bus station. The car keys had been left outside, near Westside Pizza.

Police searched for a robber described as white and middle-aged, with bad posture and a gray mustache poking out from under the “funnyman” mask. He wore a stocking cap and dark clothing. Officers set up a perimeter, called out police dogs and scoured the neighborhood. They couldn’t find the man.

No customers were inside the store at the time. Most businesses on that strip close an hour or two before Westside Pizza.