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Strongsville police hope to solve armed robbery at Brew Garden restaurant

Two employees restrianed, held at gunpoint
Posted at 9:57 PM, Jul 25, 2016

Strongsville police are trying to solve a daring morning hold-up at the Brew Garden restaurant, during which two employees were tied-up and held at gunpoint.

Police report morning manager Ivanne Meredith was ordered to open the safe, the two gunmen then used tools to open the cash box.

Meredith told newsnet5.com she feared for her life, and was wondering if she would make it out alive.

"I turned around and a man had a pistol and rifle in my face," she said.

"My hands behind my back, my eyes were closed, just praying like I just want to get home.  I thought about me not kissing my kids before I left for work because they were sleeping."

Meredith didn't get a good look at the suspects. She said both were wearing masks.

Meredith said the incident has turned her life upside down, she quit her job at the Brew Garden after she claimed management there started treating her as a suspect and not a victim.

"They started drilling me on how I got the code, when was the last time I was in the safe, that statements I was saying were false and that's not the case," said Meredith.

To make matters worse, Meredith reports the Brew Garden is withhold her paychecks, making it hard for she and her husband to feed their three children.

Meanwhile Meredith claims the business had poor security and did not have video surveillance at the time of the robbery.

Strongsville Police would not comment on the case, because it's an on-going investigation.

Brew Garden owner Pat Potopsky told newsnet5.com he and management never implicated Meredith in the robbery plot, that they aren't sure who is involved, and want police to find the suspects.

Potopsky, issued the following statement:

On Sunday July 17 at 8:00 am the Brew Garden was robbed at gun point.  The authorities have directed us not to comment on the statements and actions of all the persons involved.  However, we can comment on a few internal aspects of the organization.

In regards to the security of the four month old building.  The alarm system was successfully disarmed by Ivanne Meredith.  The access door was unlocked, relocked, and unlocked successfully without any problems by Ivanne Meredith.   The final stage for the installation of the surveillance system is scheduled for August.

In regards to the paycheck for Ivanne Meredith.  Ivanne Meredith notified us on July 20 at 3:00 pm that she was quitting and taking another job with the Bomber’s Squadron.  Paychecks arrived at 4:00 pm the same day.  Due to corporate policy, final paychecks cannot be issued to positional managers until a procedural checklist/inventory is completed and signed off by the exiting party and the acting general manager.  This includes items similar to manuals, recipe binders, handbooks, supply responsibilities, and most importantly security measurements.  Portions of this procedural check out have not met the necessary requirements.

More importantly, Ivanne Meredith had illegally accessed the corporate safe.  She is on record as stating “two different managers gave her the combination”.  However, the two managers have vehemently denied any such action or permission.

The next payroll date is August 3, 2016.  If Ivanne Meredith complies with the standard requirements of the basic check list she will be given her paycheck.

Sadly, what has been overlooked, is how this has affected the other victim and the staff.  Obviously, there is quite a bit of finger pointing and conspiracy theories.  Perhaps, if only “ALL” the witnesses had taken a lie detector test, everyone would have been put at ease."

Meredith replied to the company statement and said she never notified management that she was quitting, and was never given any materials for a procedural checkout.