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Deli robbed for 2nd time in less than 2 weeks as Eugene robbery spree continues

Police said a man robbed Lil’s Deli on River Road at gunpoint Friday, March 2, 2018 - and again Thursday, March 15. (SBG)

EUGENE, Ore. - A man robbed Lil's Deli at gunpoint March 2.

Less than 2 weeks later, it happened again Thursday morning, Eugene Police said. | CRIME MAP

At 7:16 a.m. Thursday, a caller reported the robbery at Lil's on River Road to police.

"An employee was robbed at gunpoint by a man wearing a bandana, who fled with cash, running southbound toward the laundromat," accorindg to police. "Multiple Eugene Police units, K9, and Lane County Sheriff’s Office deputies responded to the scene and to search the area. The suspect was not located."

The suspect is a white man, age 20 to 30, about 5-foot-10 with a medium to heavy build. He was last seen wearing a gray hoodie, black and white skate or athletic shoes with a big tongue, and blue jeans.

The two crimes bookend a string of 9 robberies in less than 2 weeks. Police are investigating as if the robberies are connected, but cannot say for sure yet.

Aside from the two robberies at Lil's on River Road, the other crimes have been concentrated in the neighborhoods around the University of Oregon campus.

Police are comparing a lot of information right now to see what matches up and what doesn't to determine who's responsible - and just how many robbery suspects there could be.

Right now, they have varying descriptions - including black, white and hispanic men - wearing different clothing. In some cases there is one suspect; in others, two suspects working together.

"We're trying to compare clothing descriptions, descriptions of the weapons, just a general time-place situation," Captain Carolyn Mason said, "and it's really difficult work to try to put all the pieces together."

Police say it is frustrating that time and time again these suspects are getting away.

The job of police has been made even more difficult by delayed reporting: A student robbed early Sunday morning didn't report the crime to police until Tuesday.

"That really impacts our ability to respond quickly and get the information out to the other patrols," Captain Sherri Meisel said, "and it really affects our ability to capture a suspect in a timely fashion so that's been a struggle."

Eugene Police has put additional patrol officers on rapid response teams so that if it happens again, they can get there quickly.

And they're working with other local law enforcement agencies.

They say they need the public to be eyes and ears on the streets, too: pay attention, be careful - and if you find yourself in a robbery situation, comply; get away; and call 911 ASAP.

DEVELOPING STORY | Watch #LiveOnKMTR NBC 16 for updates

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