Machete-wielding ‘Pepperoni Bandit’ captured

He graduated, in just two days, from stealing snacks to demanding cash from convenience stores – see why it’s a good thing cops nabbed this armed robber …

The bandit who held up this store – with a machete – took treats, instead of cash.

Story and photos by David F. Ashton
It isn’t unusual for young men to stroll into B & C Foods, located at 12918 SE Foster Road in the Powellhurst-Gilbert Neighborhood, as one did at about 10:30 a.m. on Saturday, July 6.

The fellow walked through the aisles, and picked up a frozen pizza, some candy, and some pepperoni sticks.  But what he was carrying wasn’t cash.

Instead of paying for his purchases, the teenager brandished a assault machete – and walked out the door.

Portland Police Bureau (PPB) East Precinct officers searched the area for the snack robber, but came up empty handed.

Still hungry for snacks – and criminal activity – the man, now dubbed “The Pepperoni Bandit”, strikes another Lents Neighborhood convenience store, also on SE Foster Road.

Perhaps elated by the success of his budding criminal career, two days later the same young man walked into to the Plaid Pantry at 11010 SE Foster Road, just past midnight on July 8, to do some more “shopping”.

“During the robbery, the suspect grabbed a soda, chocolate mini-donuts, and beef jerky,” said PPB Public Information Officer Sgt. Pete Simpson. “Then, he threatened the clerk with a machete, and demanded money and cigarettes.”

Again, the teenager left on foot, slipping through a police dragnet.

Later that morning, a PPB Robbery Detective who had viewed surveillance video, recognized the suspect on the street – waiting to board a TriMet bus, in the area of the robberies

Police say they caught this suspect, 18-year-old David Robert Baker, still packing a machete in his pants.

At 12:45 p.m. that afternoon, “East Precinct officers responded and took the suspect off a TriMet bus,” Simpson said. “He struggled with officers, but ultimately was taken into custody. One officer received minor injuries during the struggle. Officers recovered an assault machete from the suspect’s pants,” Simpson said.

18-year-old David Robert Baker was the man arrested in connection with two armed robberies. He was booked into the Multnomah County Detention Center at 4:39 p.m. on two counts of Robbery in the First Degree.

Apparently, Baker was later charged with a third count of Robbery in the First Degree – all are Class A Felonies. He’s being held in lieu of a combined bail of $750,000 at Inverness Jail.

© 2013 David F. Ashton ~ East Portland News

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