A Baskin-Robbins ice cream store in Portland, Ore., was held up twice recently, but at around 9 p.m. on Tuesday, another man tried to rob the store claiming that he was holding a syringe filled with AIDS.
The incident took place at the Baskin-Robbins branch on Southwest Broadway, just across the street from the famous Pioneer Courthouse Square.
The store worker who was held up, 19-year-old Katharine Pepin, said she was getting ready to close up the store when a man entered, syringe in hand, and demanded money.
Pepin told reporters: “Some guy just walked in and said, ‘This is a robbery. This is a needle full of AIDS’, and then ‘Open the cash drawer’, and so I did,” she said.
Just before she handed over the money, in fear for her life, Pepin said she got a good look at the syringe: “It looked like a bloody substance,” she reported.
She also told KATU that her adrenaline didn’t kick in until the man left the store: “My phone wasn’t working, and that’s the only phone we can make outgoing calls from, so I ran across the street and called 911,” Pepin said.
Pepin described the man as white, in his 20s and about 5-feet-9 inches tall, with brown hair.
Despite the stick up, Pepin is already back at work: “At the moment I was terrified, and I mean I’ve been a little jumpy, I just don’t want to work alone again,” Pepin said understandably.
As a result of the incident the store manager has assured Pepin that she won’t need to work alone again, and will always be accompanied by a second shift member in the future.
Remaining ever positive Pepin said: “It definitely could have been worse. I feel pretty lucky,” especially as no one knows whether or not the syringe actually contained AIDS.