La PINE, Ore. - (Update: New details from sheriff's deputies)
A man with sunglasses propped on his head robbed the Shop Smart grocery store in La Pine Friday morning, according to Deschutes County sheriff’s deputies who quickly distributed two security-camera images in hopes of catching him.
Deputies and Oregon State Police troopers responded to the robbery call around 9:45 a.m., according to a sheriff's office news release issued late Friday afternoon.
They immediately began a search of the area but were unable to find the suspect, deputies said. Sheriff's detectives also arrived to help in the investigation.
They said the robber entered the store, took a couple of items and walked to a checkout register, then handed the employee a note demanding cash. No weapons were observed
"The employee, who was in fear for their safety, opened the till and handed the suspect an undisclosed amount of cash," deputies said.
The man then left the store, walked to a dark-colored vehicle and drove away.
La Pine residents were surprised to hear the news.
“We felt kind of safe here in La Pine." Richard Punzel said. "I didn’t think anything would happen, a robbery in a grocery store would be the last thing.”
“We have a really great community, and I think people are really trying to take care of it. So people that come in and use violence is not very common,” Taylor Tavares said.
Based on the security-camera photos and witnesses, the while male is believed to be in his mid to late 20s, 5-foot-6 to 5-10, with a thin build. He had dark hair and facial hair, and was wearing a dark hooded sweatshirt with a red shirt, black shoes and black jeans, deputies said.
"The suspect is believed to be associated with a small black sedan with tinted windows and possibly left the area southbound on Highway 97,” deputies said in a Facebook posting.
Anyone with sightings or information to help in the investigation was asked to call county dispatchers on their non-emergency number at 693-6911.