Donut shop customers, employees fight off tip-jar thief

Multnomah County

PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) – Employees and customers at a southeast Portland Sesame Donuts fought off a thief who tried to steal a tip-jar Thursday morning.

Sesame Donuts customer Jason Gordon witnessed the incident when he stopped at the SE 41st and Powell shop to pick up treats for his employees.

He said that he heard a man talking to himself and looked suspicious. “I noticed that he had a large, like, dark wine bottle in his hand and as soon as he entered the building, I noticed that he put his hood up over his head,” Gordon said.

The man hustled out of the store with the tip jar, causing an employee to chase after him. According to Gordon, a driver in the store parking lot flung open their door to slow the thief.

“That kind of stopped the guy a little bit and the employee was able to catch him and they wrestled behind my vehicle to get that tip jar. Him and another customer got it,” Gordon explained.

After securing the jar, Gordon and the employee went back into the store, and he started to place his order when he head another customer yell “‘no, no, no, no,'”

According to Gordon, the same man who tried to steal the tip-jar, then “had a big boulder in his hand, and was running towards the building and just threw it right into the glass window which just shattered,”

Glass flew outside and inside the shop, and the employee that had wrestled back the tip jar chased the man towards Powell. According to Gordon, the two began “throwing punches,” and the thief pepper-sprayed the employee.

Gordon called 911 during the attack but was disappointed that police did not arrive while he was there. and said it seemed to take forever to reach a dispatcher.  

“While she was very informative, and quick to get the information from me, it still seemed like it took a long time,” Gordon said.

As the owner of Thai Yummy food cart, Gordon says he knows how Sesame Donut employees feel. Despite a metal gate, thieves broke into his food cart in December, 2020. Gordon says he is still waiting to talk to an officer in-person about his food cart break-in.

KOIN 6 News reached out to Portland police for comment on the Sesame break-in but have not heard back.

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