TAYLORSVILLE The new customer service policy goes something like this: "Give them what they want and get them out of the store. Don't try to be the hero."
Inside the Subway restaurant, 4174 S. Redwood, no fewer than seven surveillance cameras are on even when the open sign is not, and posted notes on all the walls remind everyone to "SMILE!!!"
In part, these measures are because of Lloyd Everett Pace, police say, a 45-year-old Taylorsville man who was arrested Tuesday on suspicion of robbing the Subway and eight other businesses around the Salt Lake valley at gunpoint since May.
But Everett isn't the restaurant's most frequent "customer," police say; the robbery was the fourth at the Subway this year alone.
"It brings a lot of peace of mind for people," Allison Riley, a spokeswoman for Subway of Utah, said of the arrest. "It means a lot to know that one case is taken care of, but that doesn't mean you don't learn from the experience."
According to the Taylorsville Police Department, Pace and another man walked into the Subway on June 2 just before 9:45 p.m. The men flashed a handgun and were given a small amount of cash from the register. They wore blue hats.
For employees at Subway, however, the whole thing might be old hat by now.
In September 2006, a man in baggy pants and sunglasses made sure the restaurant was clear, even checking the bathroom before robbing the joint. Armed with a knife, the man jumped over the counter, grabbed money out of the register and ran off without ever saying a word.
And in late February and early March of this year, the Subway was robbed three times in 10 days by a man carrying a gun and wearing a bandana over his face. Taylorsville Police Sgt. Rosie Rivera said those occurrences don't appear to be connected to the latest robbery.
"Unfortunately, that Subway, where it sits, is an easy access for people to get away quickly," she said. "Sometimes it's just location."
The sandwich shop sits between a community college and an arcade in a bustling shopping center where parking stalls can be hard to find. Cars zoom past the place, with its frontage on one of the west side's main thoroughfares, but the lunch crowd finds time to stop.
Location, location, location. "For better or for worse," Riley said.
After robbing the Subway, police said, Pace and two other men robbed a Little Caesar's restaurant, 3950 W. 5400 South, just 20 minutes later. Since May 14, investigators have linked Pace to five robberies in Taylorsville, two in Salt Lake City, one in South Salt Lake and one in West Jordan, said Taylorsville police detective Troy Martinez.
A search of court records showed Pace pleaded guilty to first-degree felony charges of aggravated robbery in 1994. He was sentenced to a prison term of five years to life. He was released Sept. 24, 2002, and was on parole until Aug. 10, 2004, according to the Utah Department of Corrections.
Following the restaurant's fourth robbery of the year, employees were "obviously a little shaken up," Riley said. "That's certainly unnerving to be in that situation." But the promise of an increased police presence and security cameras helped to ease tensions, she said.
Police said those suspect descriptions and surveillance footage helped crack open the case, and investigators hope it will help them round up two suspects they are still "actively pursuing" in connection with the robberies.
When officers made a traffic stop earlier this week, they noted that Pace matched the description of the robbery suspects, Martinez said. Police gave Pace an open container citation and sent him on his way.Tuesday afternoon, detectives from several local law enforcement agencies and the FBI arrested Pace at the Springhill Apartments, 5600 S. Redwood, just a few blocks down the street from the Subway. He is being held without bail in the Salt Lake County Jail on suspicion of nine counts of aggravated robbery.
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