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Local robbers may have struck in two other Oregon cities

Robbers who tied up a clerk and customers at a west Medford store serving the Hispanic community on Oct. 2 might have hit similar stores in Woodburn and Corvallis in the past week, police said.

Similarities between the three midday robberies are striking, Medford police Detective Sgt. Mike Budreau said. In each case, a group of men — some carrying guns — tied up people in a store, filled a trash bag with gold jewelry and fled.

Comparing the surveillance video from the Medford robbery and one in Woodburn on Oct. 21, Budreau noted that some of the suspects even appeared to be wearing the same clothes in the two videos.

In Woodburn, four men — one with a handgun and one with a large knife — went into a store called El Jalisciense on North Front Street, bound with duct tape the store owner and a friend who was at the store with him, collected jewelry and clothing, and fled. All four suspects were Hispanic. One wore a white, hooded, long-sleeved shirt with wide stripes also seen at the Medford robbery, and another wore a white jacket with dark shoulders and sleeves, also like one seen at the Medford robbery.

Six men robbed a store called Joyeria Olivares on Ninth Street in Corvallis at 12:50 p.m. Monday. One of the men had a black, semi-automatic handgun and one carried a knife, Corvallis police said in a news release issued Monday. The robbers bound the owner and an employee while a 2-year-old child in the store watched, the Albany Democrat Herald reported.

They then fled with gold jewelry valued at more than $10,000, Corvallis police said.

Budreau said the three departments are in contact and are working to confirm a link between the cases.

Reach reporter Anita Burke at 776-4485, or e-mail aburke@mailtribune.com.