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Machete-waving junk food bandit wrestled into custody

An 18-year-old man with a taste for beef jerky and junk food was wrestled into custody early Monday morning in connection with robberies of two Southeast Portland convenience stores.

Portland police said David Robert Baker was lodged in the Multnomah County Jail and charged with two counts of first-degree robbery. He will be arraigned Tuesday.

Baker was taken into custody after a struggle with East Precinct officers who found him on a TriMet bus after the second robbery. One officer was slightly injured in the struggle. Officers recovered a machete from Baker’s pants.

Police said Baker was the suspect in two machete-wielding robberies Saturday, July 6, and again Monday, July 8. In both cases, the robber grabbed handfuls of junk food snacks and threatened store clerks with a machete.

A detective watching video surveillance tape from Monday morning’s robbery saw the suspect waiting for a bus near the robbery. East Precinct officers found him on a bus less than an hour after the robbery.

Police said the first robbery happened at about 10:33 a.m. Saturday July 6, at B&C Foods, 12918 S.E. Foster Road. The store clerk told police a man entered the market, picked up a frozen pizza, some candy and some pepperoni sticks then threatened the clerk with a machete before leaving the market without paying for the food.

At about midnight Monday July 8, a man matching Baker’s description robbed the Plaid Pantry, 11010 S.E. Foster Road. During the robbery, the suspect grabbed a soda, chocolate mini-donuts and beef jerky then threatened the clerk with a machete and demanded money and cigarettes. The suspect left on foot and was later discovered on a TriMet bus.