PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — There have been a series of robberies at the same Milwaukie convenience store over an 8-week period.
The Clackamas County Sheriff’s Office said Vista Market employees were assaulted during two of the incidents.
Investigators believe the same suspect is involved in all three cases and may have had an accomplice in the first incident.
On July 15, the suspect stole about $500 worth of smoking pipes and then got away on a bike. Investigators think someone else cased the store a few minutes before the suspect went in and then hung around during the robbery as a lookout.
On August 28, around 10 a.m., the suspect jumped over the counter and put a knife to the store owner’s throat. After he stole cash from the register, the suspect assaulted the owner and then ran away. He also stole a glass pipe.
The store owner had a cut on his head and other injuries from the attack.
The third assault happened on Sept. 6 just after 11 a.m. The suspect went into the Vista Market and this time, the clerk stepped in his way.
They fought and the clerk tried to push the suspect outside, so he ran away. The clerk had cuts and bruises from the fight.
The store’s owners hope the targeted attacks aren’t detrimental to their business. Neighbors in the area are committed to preventing that from happening.
Lisa Taylor, an employee at the nearby McQueen’s Bar & Grill, said the owners are “the most wonderful people … everybody knows them, everybody loves them.”
“There were some regulars over here that were all ready to go out and find [the suspects],” Taylor said. “I’m positive somebody’s gonna recognize them and I hope they get caught.”
The suspect is a young man in his teens or 20s with light skin, dark hair and a slim build. He wore a sweatshirt covering his face or mask in each robbery. He was also seen carrying a blue Adidas backpack.
The accomplice is a young man with longer, curly hair who was wearing a white hoodie with a black logo, dark pants and electric blue sneakers.
Detectives think the first accomplice could be key in solving all 3 cases.
“We’re really seeking help from the public to identify this accomplice and the suspect,” said Clackamas County Sheriff’s Office Sgt. Marcus Mendoza. “We really believe that this case will be easy to solve once we identify that accomplice.”
There is surveillance video from all three robberies and detectives are hoping to get tips to identify the suspect. If you know anything, call the sheriff’s office at 503.723.4949.