Alert cops nail adult store robbery suspect

Sometimes police ‘catch a lucky break’. Find out why the cops’ commander said this arrest was the result of ‘simply, great police work’ …

This is the adult store police say was robbed, early on a Saturday Morning.

Story and photos by David F. Ashton
When the 5 ft. 10 in. tall, 170 lb man came strolling into the Fantasyland Video Store, just north of SE 52nd Avenue on SE Foster Road, at 6:00 a.m. in the morning of August 7, he wasn’t looking to check out adult entertainment.

Instead, the man’s early Saturday morning foray included the alleged assault of an employee, and snatching the store’s cash before riding off into the sunrise.

“It helped that our police offers got a detailed description of the suspect and his vehicle,” said Portland Police Bureau East Precinct Commander Bill Walker about the case.

“From there on, officers demonstrated great police work,” Walker continued. “For instance, the license plate number given them wasn’t quite right; it didn’t come up. An officer kept running similar plate numbers, and finally pulled the registration of a vehicle that matched the description, at an address on the 3500 block of SE Kelly Street.”

At that location, in the neighborhood north and west of SE 39th Ave. and Powell Blvd., a non-English speaking neighbor communicated that he saw a man, matching the suspect’s description, running from the area.

“There was a short foot pursuit,” Walker revealed.

A Washington County Sheriff’s Office K-9 Unit happened to be nearby, heard the call, and also headed to the location. With the help of the WCSO K-9 unit, officers took the suspect into custody about a block south of the suspect’s listed residence – all happening before 7:00 a.m.

“Like I said, this is an example of great police work,” Walker concluded, “and, good interagency cooperation.”

Charges against this suspect, 36-year-old Benjamin Anthony Gomez, include Second Degree Robbery.

36-year-old Benjamin Anthony Gomez was charged with the crime, reported police spokesperson Lt. Kelli Sheffer. The Multnomah County Department of Corrections’ records show that Gomez remains in custody, with bail set at more that $250,000 for charges that include Second Degree Robbery, Second Degree Theft, and First Degree Trespass.

© 2010 David F. Ashton ~ East Portland News

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