Lincoln police were investigating separate robberies at a grocery store and a restaurant Wednesday night, a department spokeswoman said.
At 9 p.m., employees of the Russ's Market at 17th and Washington streets were threatened by a man with a knife they caught shoplifting $2.50 of deli ham, Officer Angela Sands said.
The man left, and no one was injured.
Employees were familiar with the man and have identified him for police, Sands said.
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Officers had not arrested the suspect as of Thursday morning, she said.
At 9:45 p.m., employees closing the Golden Corral by North 27th Street and Old Dairy Road were approached from behind by a man, who demanded their money, she said.
They believed the man had a weapon but didn't see one, Sands said.
They gave the man an undisclosed amount of cash, and the man left southbound.
Police had only a general description of the man Thursday.
Investigators do not believe the robberies are connected, Sands said.