Pipe bomb ‘beer run’ bandit foiled

Officials say the suspect threatened to blow up the convenience store, demanding cash, beer – and you can’t believe what else …

Other than folks walking in for groceries from nearby Powellhurst-Gilbert neighborhood apartments, evenings are usually quiet at this convenience store.

Story and photos by David F. Ashton

Police say would-be robbers usually brandish a gun – or at least, pretend to have a weapon stashed in their pocket – when they head in to rob a convenience store.

But, on January 20 at 11:24 p.m. a bandit thought he needed some kind of menacing object, but couldn’t come up with a firearm, when he decided to stick up the Plaid Pantry store at 4504 SE 122nd Avenue. So he said he had a pipe bomb.

Following his training, the clerk didn’t put up a fuss, and soon the man fled the store, after obtaining an undisclosed amount of money, beer and – and yes – he stole ice cream, too.

Police officers located the bomb-toting robbery suspect here, near this intersection.

Portland Police Bureau PPB East Precinct officers arrived at the scene, and learned of the holdup from the convenience store clerk.

“The suspect demanded money, and threatened to blow up the store, showing the employee what looked like a pipe bomb,” said PPB Public Information Officer Sgt. Pete Simpson.

Checking the neighborhood, offices spotted the suspect hiding in some bushes several blocks west of the store SE Holgate Boulevard. Perhaps it seemed a convenience spot to stop and have some ice cream and beer.

“Officers located a metal dumbbell bar, believed to be the hoax pipe bomb, and found the suspect at SE 116th Avenue and Holgate Boulevard,” Simpson said.

52-year-old Theodore Clifton Compton is jailed after his robbery of cash, beer, and ice cream.

The suspect, 52-year-old Theodore Clifton Compton, was arrested without incident. According to some unofficial reports, Compton was easy to spot, having ice cream smeared on his face and hands. Evidently he did not have a spoon.
Compton was booked into the Multnomah County Detention Center (MCDC) at 3:17 a.m. on January 21, on charges of Robbery in the Second Degree and Possession of a Hoax Destructive Device. He remains in custody at Inverness Jail in lieu of unspecified bail on those charges.

© 2016 David F. Ashton ~ East Portland News

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