While police are still investigating the armed robbery of a money services and clothing retailer Friday afternoon, the owner is looking for immediate answers.

The robbery occurred Friday afternoon at Casa Mexico, located in the North Pacific Plaza on Highway 99E in Woodburn. The business is a popular Mexican clothing retailer but also provides check cashing services totaling close to $2 million per month, said Michael Elias, owner.

“We have been in Woodburn 23 years, but this is the first time we have had an armed robbery,” Elias said.

The suspect, described as a light-skinned Hispanic male, about 5’6” to 5’8” with a medium build, and wearing dark clothing, is still at-large after taking a reported $3,496 from Casa Mexico and other cash from its employees.

Elias described the incident, saying the man knew one employee had access to the company’s vault. He forced her to make a draw. Then, he took her and another employee’s money. As customers entered the store, he lined them up and forced them to stand side by side. The machine, however, only gave an allotted amount of cash.

The man, who wore a bandana, sunglasses and a baseball cap and was equipped with a handgun, grew frustrated and fled on foot, Elias said.

No shots were fired and no injuries were reported.

After the incident, police used a K-9 unit to conduct a search of the area, but the suspect could not be found.

“It’s not about the money,” Elias said. “I have check scams where I am losing $15,000 to $20,000 at a time. But this is someone pointing guns at my employees and customers. I am going to demand action from the Woodburn police.”

Police department officials were still working with evidence from the robbery on Monday, but declined to release surveillance images.

The department would like to further its investigation before it releases photos of the suspect, said Capt. Doug Garrett.

Anyone with information regarding the robbery is asked to contact Officer Steve Sloan of the WPD at 503-982-2345.

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