Police: Armed robbery at Kearney bar may be tied to other crime

Armed robbery at Kearney bar may be tied to other crime. (NTV News)

An armed robbery at Cunningham’s Journal in Kearney may be connected to another robbery earlier this week. Benjamen Luethke, 21, was arrested around 2:14 a.m. on Thursday after police say he confronted an employee at gunpoint. According to police, the man appeared inside the bar and demanded cash. The Kearney Police Department is still investigating how Luethke got into the restaurant.

Police Captain Mike Kirkwood said he may have gotten in through a door left unlocked for employees.

"It's what we're looking at, whether he stayed in and hid in the bar when they closed and stayed in the bar is another option,” said Kirkwood.

Kirkwood said the man was wearing a ski mask and had a handgun along with burglary tools on him. Kirkwood also said the employee was alone and closing up for the night.

"Employees need to watch out for each other. Leave together, get done together, go out together, and just watch yourself around closing time cause lots of times if you're gonna be robbed, that's when you're gonna be robbed,” said Kirkwood.

Captain Kirkwood said the man made off with cash and a bottle of alcohol, before the arrest. No one was harmed.

"I’m honestly pretty shocked. You don't typically hear about crime happening in our community very often. I've been a part of this community for about three years now and I haven't heard of anything quite like this going on so I’m very shocked about it,” said UNK student, Tyan Boyer.

Kearney police are also investigating if this is connected with another incident in Broken Bow.

Police there say a man in a ski mask robbed the Pump and Pantry Wednesday morning with a handgun. If you have information regarding that robbery, you are asked to call the Broken Bow Police Department at 308-872-6424.

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