BEND, Ore. -

Bend police are looking for a man who broke into the Fred Meyer and stole a handgun early Tuesday morning.

Officers responded to the reported burglary around 4:30 a.m. at the store at 61535 S. Hwy. 97, said Cpl. Adam Juhnke.

A worker said someone had forced their way in, and the worker believed a gun had been stolen from a gun case.

"The firearm is out of the control of Fred Meyer now, and it's out in the community, and so you don't know what's being done with it," Bend police Lt. Kurt Koester said. "Will it be used for other crimes? Will it, like I said, be traded for drugs and end up in somebody else's hands? You just don't know where this firearm ends up. You just hope that nobody is hurt or injured."

Police told NewsChannel 21 the man apparently smashed his way into the garden center area while employees were in the building.

They said a handgun was missing from a glass case, and the burglar fled either on foot or by bike.

"We're confident in our security measures, and (customers) can feel safe in our stores," Fred Meyer Stores spokeswoman Melinda Merrill. "We will do everything we can to figure out how this happened, and prevent it from ever happening again."

A search of the area did not find the suspect, described as a white male, 20 to 30 years old, 5-foot-6 to 6 feet tall, with a thin build and medium-length brown hair.

Juhnke said the man was wearing a black jacket with a lighter-colored sweatshirt, blue jeans with a design on the back pockets, and boots.

Anyone with information in the case or about the suspect was asked to contact Bend police at (541) 693-6911.

You can also call the Crime Stoppers Tip Line at 1-877-876-TIPS, or use the form on KTVZ.COM’s Crime Stoppers page. You can remain anonymous, and you could be eligible for a cash reward.