(Update: Adding video)
“I understand that we're all human, and we all fall on hard times,' alleged victim says
BEND, Ore. (KTVZ) – A wide-ranging police manhunt failed to find a man who staged a strong-armed robbery of a northeast Bend food truck Friday afternoon, officers said. The crime and search led to the precautionary lockout of two nearby schools.
Police responded around 11:45 a.m. to the reported robbery near the intersection of Northeast Second Street and Greenwood Avenue, Corporal Scott Dickerson said.
Police and Deschutes County sheriff’s deputies responded to the area of Fourth Street and Olney Avenue and searched for the suspect near his last known location, but he was not found, Dickerson said.
“The incident is still under investigation and there is no concern for the public safety,” he added
Bend school resource officers contacted nearby Juniper Elementary School and Pilot Butte Middle School to conduct a lockout while the search was underway, for about an hour. During a lockout, exterior doors are locked, but people can leave and school activities can continue.
Dickerson said that based on what occurred, the suspect is likely to face charges of second-degree burglary and third-degree theft and robbery.
Police have not identified the 26-year-old victim, who was uninjured, or the business involved, but NewsChannel 21 learned it was the El Taquero food truck and spoke with its owner, Hansel Chavez.
Chavez said he was preparing to open the truck just before noon but found the door open, and a man stuffing his pockets with bills from the open cash register.
Chavez said he asked the man to put the money back and leave, but the man became aggressive when Chavez took his phone out to call police. Eventually, the man dropped most of the money as he ran away, toward Fourth Street.
Chavez said his family uses the nearby market and food truck to help people in need, and won’t let this event shake their faith in humanity.
"It doesn't change my mind with any homeless people,” he said. “I understand that we're all human, and we all fall on hard times, and everyone just needs a little bit of help sometimes. It just makes me feel more alert to obviously lock my food truck up when no one's in there and just be a little more aware of our surroundings."