'Where's the money?' Man accused of targeting 6 businesses in 2 weeks pleads not guilty

Shawn Maholmes-Salinas

MILWAUKEE -- Shawn Maholmes-Salinas, 25, pleaded not guilty on Monday, May 13 to multiple charges, accused of robbing or attempting to rob a half-dozen businesses in just two weeks. Quick-thinking restaurant employees ended up turning the gun on him.

Maholmes-Salinas faces the following criminal counts:

    Prosecutors said he robbed or attempted to rob six businesses in Milwaukee between April 14 and April 29. Most were along W. Capitol Drive on Milwaukee's north side.

    The criminal complaint detailed the alleged crimes by business:

    April 14: Dollar General (4412 W. Capitol)

    The criminal complaint indicated Maholmes-Salinas walked into the store around 5:30 p.m.He was "wearing a black hooded sweatshirt with the hood pulled tight to his head and a dark blue cloth covering his face." A witness said Maholmes-Salinas had "a firearm that was partially concealed in his sweatshirt." He yelled, "Give me the money. Give me the money." The complaint said the employee ran to the back of the store -- and Maholmes-Salinas followed. The complaint said he continue to yell, "Get back here. I'm gonna shoot you." The employee eventually came back to the front of the store, opened the register and Maholmes-Salinas took approximately $455 before fleeing. Surveillance cameras captured the crime.

    April 19: DJ Spa and Nails (6733 W. Capitol)

    The complaint said Maholmes-Salinas walked into the business shortly before 5 p.m. and yelled, "Where's the money? Where's the money?" Maholmes-Salinas allegedly grabbed the male owner of the business, "wrapped his left arm around his neck while he pointed the gun" at his wife. Again, Maholmes-Salinas demanded money. About $30-$40 was taken from one drawer. Another drawer had only $18. Surveillance cameras captured the crime.

    April 25: Family Dollar (7616 W. Hampton)

    Around 7:15 p.m., Maholmes-Salinas allegedly walked into the business with his hood up and a mask concealing his face. The complaint said he had a black pistol in his right hand. Maholmes-Salinas allegedly told an employee at the store to open the register. The complaint said Maholmes-Salinas grabbed a plastic bag and told the employee to, "Put the money in this." He alleged told the employee, "Be player. Be smooth." Maholmes-Salinas then apparently grabbed the money and fled the store. Surveillance cameras captured the crime.

    April 27: Big Man's Place (1932 W. Capitol)

    This crime took place around 1:30 a.m. The criminal complaint said the Maholmes-Salinas approached an employee at the bar and stated, "Give me everything you got." The employee told him guns were not allowed in the bar. The complaint said Maholmes-Salinas "took out the gun and pointed it at him." He apparently yelled, "What do you want me to do, shoot you?" The employee turned over about $1,100 from the register. The complaint indicated Maholmes-Salinas also took a tip jar that contained about $200.

    April 29: Denny's (7822 W. Capitol)

    The complaint indicated Maholmes-Salinas walked into this business shortly after 8 p.m. and approached the store manager stating, "Are you the manager?" He allegedly demanded the manager open the restaurant's safe. The complaint indicated Maholmes-Salinas saw a security guard had his cellphone out -- which distracted him. That allowed the manager to flee the restaurant -- and call 911. The complaint said the security guard told Maholmes-Salinas he did not have a gun. Maholmes-Salinas apparently demanded the guard open the register -- but only the manager could do that. Maholmes-Salinas allegedly accused the guard of lying -- and "struck him in the left side of the head with the gun." Maholmes-Salinas then fled. Surveillance cameras captured the crime.

    April 29: Wendy's (6225 W. Capitol)

    Wendy's (6225 W. Capitol Dr.)

    About a half-hour after the attempted robbery at Denny's, the complaint said Maholmes-Salinas walked into a Wendy's restaurant. Maholmes-Salinas was allegedly masked and pointing a gun at workers inside the restaurant. He stated, "Where is the safe? Open up the safe."  During this exchange, another employee at Wendy's grabbed Maholmes-Salinas from behind "and put him in a bear hug." There was brief struggle before Maholmes-Salinas was brought to the ground. During that struggle, "the magazine fell out of the gun," the complaint said. Employees were able to get the gun away from Maholmes-Salinas and hold him until police arrived. Surveillance cameras captured the crime.

    Maholmes-Salinas is due back in court on May 28 for a scheduling conference. Meanwhile, he was being held on $50,000 cash bond. Messages to his defense attorney from FOX6 News Monday, May 13 were not returned.