Masked man doesn't get far after robbing Medford Subway

A man wearing a Halloween mask and goggles robbed a Medford Subway Wednesday night, but he didn't get far.

Robert Elbert Johannesson, 36, was found hiding near the dumpsters behind the Medford Walmart five minutes after he robbed the Subway in the 1300 block of Center Drive. He is held in the Jackson County Jail on second-degree robbery, third-degree robbery and second-degree theft charges. His bail is set at over $1 million, jail records show.

A preliminary report from Medford police described the mask as "scary," but specifics about it are not yet known.

Sgt Tom Ianieri of Medford police said Johannesson entered the Subway at 9:37 p.m. and demanded money from the lone employee. He made off with an undisclosed amount of cash, ditching his mask and goggles outside the sandwich shop. There were no customers in the restaurant, and no one was hurt.

The employee provided a clothing description to police, consistent with surveillance video. Investigators found the mask, along with a plastic toy gun. It's not confirmed whether the toy was used in the incident. Either way, Ianieri said the threat of violence is enough to prompt a robbery charge.

"The statute states having or purporting to have a weapon as a threat," he said. "If someone goes into a bank with their finger in their pocket, purporting to have a gun, then it's a robbery."

Police fanned out and found Johannesson hiding. He was arrested and booked in the jail.

— Ryan Pfeil

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