Bend 7-Eleven worker jailed on made-up 'robbery' story

Parking lot 'crime' had sparked widespread search

BEND, Ore. - A reported robbery in a southeast Bend grocery store parking lot Monday afternoon brought out numerous police for an extensive search of the area that led to an arrest – of the reporting party. Police said the Bend man later admitted making up the tale, and officers found the cash -- more than $10,000 -- hidden at his home.

Deschutes County 911 dispatchers notified Bend police about the reported robbery in the south Albertsons parking lot on S. Highway 97 around 3:40 p.m. Monday, said Lt. Clint Burleigh.

The alleged victim of the reported robbery, Billy Lyle Showen, 39, provided limited information about what took place and a vague description of the alleged assailant, Burleigh said.

Showen allegedly told police he was going to deposit cash from the nearby 7-Eleven South, where he worked, at the U.S. Bank inside the Albertsons store, Burleigh said. He said he was walking through the parking lot when the robber hit him and took a bag filled with cash.

Several officers and detectives responded and spent about an hour searching a wide area to locate the suspect, to no avail, Burleigh said. They also reviewed video surveillance from nearby businesses and talked to several people who had been in the area at the time.

Based on a “lack of corroborating evidence,” Showen was questioned further about what took place, Burleigh said in a news release.

At that point, Showen admitted making up the robbery story, Burleigh said. Investigators determined he had hidden the cash intended to be deposited, and the entire amount was recovered at his southeast Bend home.

Showen was booked into the Deschutes County Jail, where he remained held Tuesday on $20,000 bail, facing charges of first-degree aggravated theft and initiating a false police report. He was due for arraignment Thursday afternoon.

The initial charging document accuses Showen of stealing "$10,000 or more" in cash from 7-Eleven.

Showen also was due to be arraigned on a misdemeanor citation received Sept. 7 for offensive littering. Court records indicated the charge involved "placing a polluting substance in the water," or as described in the DA's information, "placing an offensive substance in or on waterways or highways."

NewsChannel 21's Pedro Quintana will have more on Showen's arrest on Fox @ 4 and KTVZ at 5 and 6.

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