Woman recovering after punched in the back of the head, thief took $500

An unknown person hit a Videos on Broadway employee over the head while she emptied the trash, knocked her out and stole approximately $500 in cash from the store's cash register and office.

'It's somebody who used to work here,' said the owner of the movie rental shop, Peter Yarnell, adding later that, 'They knew what they were doing.'

A little after 9 p.m. on Sunday, Jan. 7, Mari Crannell stepped out the back door onto Southwest Zobrist Street to dump the trash into a large dumpster. Crannell's back was to the street when someone hit her in the back of the head. Doctors at Mt. Hood Medical Center in Gresham, where she was checked and released, believe she was hit with a fist.

The thief is believed to have entered through the back door, stolen money from the front cash register and taken the till money out of a drawer in the office. The robber knew exactly where to find the cash in the office, even moving a trash can to get into the drawer, according to Yarnell.

'They knew where the cash was,' Yarnell said.

Nothing else appeared to be touched-no movies, no video game consoles, no flat screen televisions.

Crannell was at home on Monday. According to Yarnell, she was shaken, but physically all right.

'I'd expect something living in Portland, but I don't expect something like this in Estacada,' Yarnell said. 'That's why we live here.'

Yarnell suspects that the culprit was a former employee, as was the case in two months ago, when a would-be thief was scared off when the alarm activated, but he said he'll let law enforcement do their job. Clackamas County Sheriff's Deputies dusted the store for fingerprints on Sunday night.

Anyone with information about the robbery should call the sheriff's office at 503-655-8218, or Videos on Broadway at 503-630-5075.

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