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S. Calif. man arrested in 2017 La Pine grocery robbery


A Southern California man was arrested last month, booked into the Deschutes County Jail on Thursday and arraigned Friday on robbery and theft charges in the July 2017 robbery of Shop Smart, a La Pine grocery store, Deschutes County sheriff’s deputies said.

On the Friday morning of July 28, 2017, a man with sunglasses on his head walked into the grocery story on Highway 97 — not far from the sheriff’s office substation — took a couple of items and walked to the checkout register, then handed a worker a note demanding cash. No weapons were seen, deputies said at the time.

The man left with an undisclosed amount of cash, walked to a small black sedan with tinted windows and drove away, possibly heading south on the highway, deputies said. They quickly distributed two security-camera images in hopes of finding him.

Sgt. Jayson Janes said detectives obtained information during their investigation that identified Robert James Parker Bruton, 30, of Ojai, California as the suspect in the robbery.

Bruton was indicted on two counts in late June, court records show, and a warrant was issued on charges of third-degree robbery and second-degree theft.

Online records also show Bruton was booked Sept. 12 into the Butte County Jail in Oroville, California on the robbery charge.

Bruton was transported to Bend and booked into the jail Thursday afternoon. He was arraigned on the indictment Friday afternoon and was being held on $15,000 bail, pending a plea hearing set for Nov. 9.

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