Bomb threat used to rob deli

Bomb threat used to rob deli

SPRINGFIELD, Ore. -- A man used a phoned-in bomb threat to rob a Springfield deli early Sunday morning and the police are asking for the public's help in identifying the robber.

The man threatened to detonate a homemade explosive left inside of Patty's Deli on Olympic St. if the clerk didn't leave money outside in the parking lot. The employee did as the man asked before calling police. 

The Springfield Police Department arrived at the deli just before 12:40 a.m. Sunday morning. They evacuated the clerk and two patrons inside while the Eugene Explosive Disposal Unit responded to the scene. Officers located a device that resembled a pipe bomb just inside the front doors.

The explosives team determined that the device did not contain explosives. The process took about an hour and several blocks around Olympic St. were closed off at that time.

Authorities recognized that the incident is not your typical robbery.

"I've been a police officer for almost 22 years here and this is the just first time I've heard it be used as a robbery," said Sgt. Tom Rappe with the Springfield Police Department.

Authorities said there are similarities to this robbery and two others that have happened recently in the area.

"Eugene had two similar calls like this last week, so we believe he is probably a Eugene/Springfield resident," Sgt. Rappe said.

Springfield Police have issued a detailed description of the man. He is described as a white male, 40-50 years old, medium build wearing a baseball hat, a black western style shirt with a large horizontal stripe in the middle with a picture of horses, and blue jeans.  

SPD is asking anyone with information about the suspect or robbery to call the Department at 541-726-3714.