String of robberies continues in Lane County
LANE COUNTY, Ore. - On Sunday, a market in Elmira was robbed at gunpoint, just one of several robberies to take place in the last few weeks in Lane County.
The Lane County Sheriff's Office says that at this point, they don't believe that the person of interest in that case is connected to the previous robberies around Lane County, but it is still early in the investigations.
When Deep Baidhoa, the owner of the Hilltop Market, originally heard about the market robberies in Eugene, he said he was afraid that his store might fall victim to the crimes.
Baidhoa's niece was just helping out on Sunday morning when she took over register duties at the market.
Surveillance video shows her working inside just after 9 a.m. while a man lingered outside. After a few minutes, he finally came in.
"He just comes inside and he says, 'Oh give me the money,'" said Baidhoa. "After that, she gave all the money in the plastic bags. And he took one camel filters cigarettes and after that, he ran away."
The Lane County Sheriff's Office confirms that the thief then ran off and stole a car from a nearby church.
Now, they have a person of interest, 30-year-old Jordan Voorhees, of Elmira. At this point, investigators don't think he's part of the other three convenience store robberies from the past month.
However, Baidhoa says he saw the trend, and he knew to be prepared. He has a dozen security cameras, and talks to his employees about what to do in these situations.
"I told them, like, 'if somebody comes here, then give them the money. Don't argue with them and do nothing because life is more important for us right now,'" said Baidhoa. "It's not the money, like two or three hundred bucks."
Otherwise, he says there's not much stores can do, other than wait and hope that suspects are caught.
Anyone with information on the Hilltop Market robbery should call the Lane County Sheriff's Office at 541-682-4141.