At about 4:45 a.m. this morning, Cedar Rapids Police got a call about something suspicious happening in the parking lot of a Taco Bell. The restaurant was closed at the time. When officers arrived, they found two men in the parking lot. Greg Buelow, a spokesman for the Cedar Rapids Police and Fire Departments, says one man said he worked there. The other was not an employee.
The police contacted the manager of the Taco Bell and Buelow says the manager asked police to go inside the Taco Bell and check things out. Police found some ingredients and equipment for making meth inside a utility closet in the Taco Bell.
Police and fire fighters who are trained to deal with the hazarous materials removed the meth-making ingredients within a couple of hours. It’s not clear if drugs were actually being made inside the restaurant. The local health department will conduct an inspection before the restaurant reopens.
Buelow is praising the passer by who alerted police.
“It’s always appreciated when people see activity that seems out of the ordinary so that police can investigate,” Buelow says. “And in this particular case it appears there may have been some drug activity going on.”
The Taco Bell is located in a retail area of Cedar Rapids that features a home improvement store, a Walmart and Sam’s Club as well as convenience stores and franchise restaurants.
A spokesperson contracted by the Taco Bell Corporation emailed a statement to Radio Iowa at 1:04 a.m. Wednesday.
“We understand that two people, one an employee, entered our franchisee’s restaurant illegally, allegedly possessing suspicious items. Both we and our franchisee find this completely unacceptable. Our franchisee has been cooperating with Cedar Rapids Police to investigate this isolated incident. Although the suspicious items found in the restaurant were not used in the kitchen, the employee has been terminated and our franchisee is considering pressing criminal charges. The restaurant will reopen after it has been sanitized inspected by the Health Department.” – Taco Bell Corp