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Phoenix-Portland robberies might be linked, police believe

Three men who held up a Portland business could be suspects in the La Tapatia heist

Phoenix police are investigating whether armed men who robbed La Tapatia Feb. 6 might be linked to a similar robbery that happened the next night near Portland.

On Feb. 6 at about 5:30 p.m., three Hispanic men entered the Phoenix store, which sells Mexican food and products and offers money-wiring services at 125 S. Main St. They ordered food at the back of the store, then demanded the store's owners hand over cash and jewelry. They herded workers and customers into a bathroom at gunpoint and escaped into the dark with their order of food and about &

36;50,000.

The next evening at about 9, two Hispanic men robbed a small market near Portland that serves the Hispanic community and offers money-wiring services, Phoenix police Chief Robert Kershaw said. They forced a woman employee and a customer into a back room at gunpoint and took about &

36;10,000 from a safe before disappearing. We don't know if they are connected, but there are a lot of similarities.

Both businesses serve a mostly Hispanic clientele, wire money abroad and are near Interstate 5. In both robberies, Spanish-speaking men with handguns forced employees and customers into a back room and told them to wait there while they escaped with cash, he said.

Phoenix police have sent photos from a La Tapatia security camera to Multnomah County officials to see if witnesses there recognize the suspects.

The first suspect is about 5-10, 220 looks 30 to 35 years old. He wore a dark jacket with a white stripe around the chest and a dark baseball cap with the letter I or L on the front.

The second suspect is about 5-5, 150 and looks between 25 and 28. He had a thick mustache and wore a dark jacket and a dark leather baseball cap with a backward letter D on the front. He showed a black, semi-automatic pistol, police said.

No photo is available.

The third suspect is about 6 feet, 250 and looks 28 to 30 years old. He had a mustache and goatee and wore a green vinyl jacket and a dark baseball cap. He showed a black revolver.