Teen girl robber ‘alarming’ to police

A teenage girl, perhaps as young as 13, is seen holding a gun and robbing the Mocha Express coffee stand in Southeast Portland in a surveillance image from Sept. 8, 2013.
A teenage girl, perhaps as young as 13, is seen holding a gun and robbing the Mocha Express coffee stand in Southeast Portland in a surveillance image from Sept. 8, 2013.

PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — Authorities continue to look for a teenage girl, perhaps as young as 13, who held up a coffee stand in Southeast Portland Sunday morning.

The girl had a handgun and demanded money from a barista at Mocha Express on SE 51st and Holgate around 9 a.m.

The barista who was robbed was not injured but did take this week off, said co-worker Iyesha Hillman.

Mocha Express on SE 51st and Holgate, Sept. 8, 2013 (KOIN 6 News)
Mocha Express on SE 51st and Holgate, Sept. 8, 2013 (KOIN 6 News)

Hillman, who said she has never flinched when young children come up to her coffee stand, now says she’s thinking twice about even the most unsuspecting customers.

“I don’t know where her parents were or what’s going on in her house where she would have a gun or need to rob a coffee shop. I think that’s pretty crazy,” Hillman said. “They won’t get much, they won’t get much here. We’re just girls, basically, so we’re all scared.”

While rare, it’s not the first time a person so young has been accused of committing an armed crime. This past December, two boys — 7 and 11 — were released to their parents after reportedly carjacking a woman in Southeast Portland. The boys’ father ultimately faced charges for leaving his gun out.

Portland police said it’s possible the suspect in this case looks younger than she is.

“If in this case the suspect turns out to be that young, it would certainly be alarming for veteran law enforcement officers,” said Sgt. Pete Simpson with the Portland Police Bureau.

Hillman said she thinks, if the girl is bad enough to commit an armed robbery, the girl should get in trouble — no matter her age. “But if there’s a reason and she needed money for school, then that’s really sad.”

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