‘Catch-and-Release’ of accused deli bandit worries Centennial neighbors

Why this man is out of custody is unclear – but, see why it appears a suspected felon is back on the streets, just one day after he was booked in jail for a serious crime …

A fun evening – the day after Christmas – came to a screeching halt, when a robber swaggered into this establishment, demanding money.

Story and photos by David F. Ashton
Monday, at about 6:30 p.m. on December 26, a menacing figure appeared in the door of Joseph’s Deli, next door to the Centennial neighborhood’s BiMart store, in the 17100 block of SE Powell Boulevard.

The dark-complexioned, stockily-built man quickly made it clear he wasn’t there for a bite to eat or to gamble.

That’s what Portland Police Bureau (PPB) East Precinct district officers learned from employees and patrons of the establishment when they arrived.

“The deli was robbed, the investigation revealed, by a man who implied he had a weapon,” PPB alternate Public Information Officer Sgt. Pete Simpson said. “The suspect took an undisclosed amount of cash.”

After the man grabbed the loot, witnesses say the bandit, who sported a mustache and a goatee, ran southbound behind the BiMart store and vanished.

Police say this man, 25-year-old Christopher Allen Lowman is the person they suspect in the deli robbery.

The following day, Simpson stated, “Police officers assigned to East Precinct have arrested 25-year-old Christopher A. Lowman in this case, and charged him with Robbery in the Third Degree. Lowman was booked in the Multnomah County Detention Center.”

However, Lowman didn’t stay there for long, MCDC records show: He was “Released on Own Recognizance” on December 27. Although their records show he was formally charged of Third Degree Robbery, a Class C Felony, his bail was “Disposed”.

Workers at the deli said they preferred not to comment on the event, later in the week.

Things are back to normal here, patrons say – but they wonder why a man who robbed their hangout is back on the street 24 hours after being arrested for the crime.

But Jim, who said he was a customer told East Portland News outside the establishment, “I wasn’t here when it happened, but I know the people who work and the regulars here were really shook up about it. I can’t imagine a guy like that would be let loose so soon.”

© 2011 David F. Ashton ~ East Portland News

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