Sabor Latino Employee fights back in strong-arm robbery
Brazen theft of employee's laptop leads to victim chasing suspect on foot.
Becky Ginsbach / Estacada Eagle Nov 23, 2012
On Nov 19, 2012 at approximately 5:45pm, a brazen theft of a lap top ended in
the victim being assaulted when he confronted the suspect and asked him to hand
over his property.
Nineteen yr old, life-long Estacada resident, Kenny Mendoza, never anticipated
that a person walking into his father’s restaurant to use the restroom would end up
stealing his laptop and assaulting him.
Mendoza had been working on his homework from classes that he is taking at
PCC for a degree in Aviation Science. He says that he had momentarily walked
into the room adjacent to where he had left his laptop plugged in on a counter. He
saw an adult male enter the building and go into the restroom, he thought nothing
With Kenny tending to chores in the restaurant, and his mother attending to the
bar counter within eyesight of the laptop, the man walked up to the counter,
unplugged the computer and proceeded to walk towards the exit.
Kenny looked over and upon seeing the stickers on the computer, he realized that
it was his. He began calling out to the man and told him that it was his stuff and to
stop. Ignoring these statements, the man kept walking out the front door. Feeling
desperate to save his computer, Kenny then followed the individual, caught up
with him outside the restaurant and that is where the thief allegedly became violent
and a struggle ensued.
Kenny said, “He pushed me and then, we hit the ground. I tried to put him in a
bear hold but he broke free and punched me in the face twice,” He continued on
to say “I had so much adrenalin at that point that I didn't even feel it. When he got
up to take off, I was right behind him.”
“When I fell on my back, I remember seeing my laptop on the ground, and I
guess one of my siblings picked it up when I left to run after him. I was not
thinking about the fact that he could have a weapon, I was just mad that he
would do that to me and I wanted to keep him there until the police arrived to take
care of it all,” said Kenny.
Before long, several more people had joined in the foot pursuit including Cornelio
Mendoza, Kenny’s father. The suspect allegedly ran through several private yards
to avoid being caught. Despite of the efforts of various individuals, he eluded them
and vanished out of sight.
Cornelio said that his concern is not so much for his son’s laptop, because he
views that as just a material possession. Rather, he is concerned for the next
victim if the suspect robs someone again in the future and gets caught.
“I might expect this in a large town, but not here is a small community, not here in
Estacada. Now, I worry if he will return. I worry about my wife and children’s
safety. I worry about the safety of others here in Estacada. Knowing that
someone would do this is scary. It’s also about someone disrespecting Estacada
by doing this. This happened so fast, like he’s probably done this sort of thing
many times before,” said Cornelio.
Kenny says that he is now looking at life much differently. “I’m more aware of
my surroundings, things like who is around, who is watching outside the
window… that kind of thing. I worry for my mom and younger siblings.”
“My parents taught us that if its not your property, keep your hands off of it. So,
it really surprised me that someone would do this to me. If he wouldn't’t have
assaulted me, I probably wouldn't have followed him,” said Kenny.
The man is described as a clean cut, Caucasian, approximately six foot tall, thin
build, 20 - 30 years old, no facial hair and a buzzed haircut. At the time of the
incident, he was wearing dark colored shorts, a mahogany colored shirt with
horizontal, white stripes.’
Mayor Becky Arnold stated to the Eagle, “I’m very sad that this happened. I’m
glad that the authorities are doing everything they can to locate the suspect. I
would encourage the local citizens to please contact the CCSO with any
information that can help them locate this person.
According to Adam Phillips, Public Information Officer for the Clackamas County
Sheriff's Office, important evidence was left behind at the scene which is now
being processed. The suspect is believed to have entered the Estacada High
School Pharmacy earlier that day and that surveillance video is in the custody of
CCSO to help them confirm his identity.
This case has been assigned to an investigating deputy for further follow up. No
photos are available at this time.
The Clackamas County Sheriff's Office is seeking tips and information regarding
Anyone with information concerning this crime is encouraged to contact the
Clackamas County Sheriff's Office's confidential Tip Line -- by telephone at 503-
723-4949, or by using the online e-mail form at http://www.clackamas.
The public can also submit crime-tip text messages to the Clackamas County
Sheriff's Office from a cell phone. All users have to do is send a text message to
CRIMES (274637 on your phone keypad) -- with the keyword CCSO as the first
word in the message body.
Important reminder: Please do not send emergency messages using the text-
messaging system -- in case of an emergency, call 911.
Stay connected with Estacada Eagle for updates as they become available.
Photo by Becky Ginsbach / Estacada Eagle: Mendoza Family and their
|Copyright 2011 / 2012 Estacada Eagle P.O.Box 2093 Estacada Oregon 97023