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Tigard man named as getaway driver in Hillsboro robbery

A Tigard man has been arrested for allegedly driving the getaway car in a violent Hillsboro robbery last week.

Police say Kyle Kevin Johnson, 25, of Tigard, waited in the car while 20-year-old Erasmo Lopez-Gonzalez assaulted a clerk at Plaid Pantry convenience store and stole lottery tickets.

Police were called to the store, located at 5801 S.E. Tualatin-Valley Highway, at about 3:20 a.m., on Sunday, Jan. 15.

The female employee was stocking shelves when the robber entered the store, according to Hillsboro Police spokesman Mike Rouches.

As the employee walked past the man to get behind the counter, the robber hit her on her head with a 14-inch-long metal pipe.

The employee fell to the ground and the man stood over her, striking her twice more with the pipe, which was covered in black tape, Rouches said.

'This was a improvised baton,' Rouches said. 'It was obviously constructed for this, and he had this for the purpose to do some damage.'

The robber stole a large number of lottery scratch tickets from behind the counter and ran out of the store, into Johnson's waiting car, Rouches said, where he was driven back to his home not far from the robbery.

The employee was taken to Providence St. Vincent Medical Center for cuts on her head and hands.

After an investigation, Lopez-Gonzalez was arrested on Monday at his home in Hillsboro and charged with first-degree robbery.

'We believe, based on LopeZ-Gonzalez's statements, that (Johnson) knew they were going to do this. He purposefully drove him there,' Rouches said.

The victim didn't see the getaway car, and Lopez-Gonzalez, who lives near the crime scene, was initially believed to have been on foot. Further investigation, however, lead police to Johnson's dark green Toyota sedan.

Tigard Police were notified and stopped Johnson's car in the 13900 block of Pacific Highway just after midnight Saturday morning.

According to Rouches, Johnson admitted to officers that he had driven Lopez-Gonzalez to and from the robbery.

Both men were lodged in Washington County Jail.

Johnson faces charges of second-degree robbery, possession of methamphetamine and violating his parole.



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