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Redmond's wild day: Jewelry store holdup, COCC lockdown

By Barney Lerten
Published On: Jul 31 2012 03:58:40 PM CDT
Updated On: Jul 31 2012 09:06:19 PM CDT

NewsChannel 21's Nina Mehlhaf wraps up a wild midday in Redmond, with a downtown jewelry heist and an anonymous 911 call claiming - falsely - a shooting at COCC's Redmond campus

REDMOND, Ore. -

Two masked men robbed a downtown Redmond jewelry store at gunpoint during the lunch hour Tuesday. That was quickly followed by a 45-minute lockdown at Central Oregon Community College's Redmond campus after an anonymous 911 call claiming there had been a shooting there, which turned out not to be the case.

Police Lt. Nathan Garibay said the report came in shortly after noon of a robbery involving weapons.at David Haffey Fine Jewelry on Sixth Street.

Off-camera, the jewelry store co-owner told NewsChannel 21 that two men in ski marks, armed with guns, walked in the front door of their store and "looked like they knew what they were going for."

The pair apparently smashed a jewelry case to grab their loot, a witness photo of the aftermath confirmed.

Garibay said Tuesday evening he could not provide any information on the suspect descriptions, the weapons or vehicles due to the ongoing investigation. But he said a customer and proprietor were in the store at the time of the holdup, and no one was injured.

David Haffey's wife said her husband, who was alone at the time of the holdup, does carry a gun, but decided against displaying or using it.

The robbery was followed minutes later by an anonymous call to 911 around 12:20 p.m., claiming there had been a shooting at the COCC Redmond Campus on SE College Loop, off Airport Way.

That led to a 45-minute lockdown of "Building 2" on the Redmond campus, which also houses the state Employment Department, Department of Human Services, Worksource Redmond and the Central Oregon Intergovernmental Council.

Whether the phone call and robbery were linked was not confirmed, but about 30 students and staff were escorted out of the building, reportedly with hands in the air.

Bullets never flew, but rumors did, as often is the case in such situations. One woman told other bystanders waiting outside: 'Some guy went into the DHS office with a gun, and now there's a hostage situation inside."

OSP troopers assisted Redmond Police in a room-by-room search of the building and found no signs of an intruder, leading to an "all-clear" shortly after 1 p.m.

COCC spokesman Ron Paradis confirmed that "police did a thorough search of Building 2 and found no credible threat to anyone at the campus."

"No one is, or was at any time, in danger at the COCC Redmond campus," Paradis said.

Garibay said at tje sceme, "Unless the original caller steps forward and can provide us with more information, we have no information that there was ever a weapon involved, or that there was any shooting or any weapon displayed."

The 911 call could have been just a joke, a student wanting out of an exam -- or an elaborate diversion for what happened downtown.

Police may have found the getaway car abandoned on a street later Tuesday afternoon, but Garibay could not comment on it.

The Bend COCC campus also was briefly checked, as a precaution, and no problems were found there, either.

While officers and Deschutes County sheriff's deputies patrolled the roads linking Bend and Redmond, another report emerged of a guns-drawn "felony traffic stop" of possible suspects in a car at Eagle Crest Resort, west of Redmond.

We'll have more details and an update as made available by police, and also have the latest on NewsChannel 21 at 10, after the Olympics (around midnight) and on NewsChannel 21 at Sunrise.

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