Portland Police Department officers are looking for a man who robbed an Oregon ice cream shop by threatening to use a syringe that he claimed was “full of AIDS.”
The robber held up a Baskin-Robbins around 9 p.m. Tuesday with a hypodermic needle he said was infected, Portland Fox affiliate KPTV reported Wednesday. He then fled the ice cream shop with an undetermined amount of cash.
According to Portland television station KATU, the Baskin-Robbins had been held up twice in the last two weeks. An employee of the ice creams shop told KATU how the latest incident unfolded.
"Some guy just walked in and said, ‘This is a robbery. This is a needle full of AIDS,’ and then ‘Open the cash drawer’ and so I did,” said Katherine Pepin, 19, who was getting ready to close the store. She said the contents in the syringe “looked like a bloody substance.”
Pepin said she then notified authorities about the robbery.
“My phone wasn't working. And that's the only phone we can make outgoing calls with so I ran across the street and called 911,” she told KATU.
The robbery suspect was described as a white man in his 20s, 5 feet 9 inches tall, with a skinny build and short hair, the Oregonian reported. He was wearing bright colors at the time of the incident.
Pepin said she’s a little on edge after the syringe-point robbery.
"At the moment I was terrified, and I mean I’ve been a little jumpy,” she told KATU, adding that she was alone at the Baskin-Robbins at the time. “I just don’t want to work alone again.”
The incident led to a policy change at the Portland Baskin-Robbins -- at least two employees will be manning the ice cream shop at all times.
"It definitely could have been worse. I feel pretty lucky,” Pepin said.
Portland police didn’t say whether they were able to find the purported AIDS syringe while investigating the robbery, according to KPTV.