BEND, OR -- A Bend man faces criminal charges after police say he filed a false robbery report to cover up his own crime. Billy Showen told police he was robbed Monday afternoon, in the Bend Albertsons parking lot. The 39-year-old claimed he had a bag of cash from the 7-Eleven where he worked, and was on his way to make a deposit at the bank inside the grocery store, when someone hit him and took the bag of money.
Bend Police Lt. Clint Burleigh says around 90% of the officers on patrol at the time immediately responded. "In general, when we have a robbery call, obviously that’s a pretty high risk, high elevated event for our department – or, I think any department. It typically involves some sort of threat being posed to a citizen. They’re responding with lights and sirens, trying to get there." Lt. Burleigh says Showen provided a vague suspect description and officers spent the next hour searching the area. "We had our K9 out that tried to track the reported suspect where we were told he went, we had officers making perimeters for that K9 track. There’s a lot of interviews being done, checking for evidence throughout the area; especially in a busy business area, there’s a lot of people to talk to."
But, he says Detectives soon realized Showen's story didn't add up, "There are certain things you should see or hear, or people should hear or see. And, when you start putting those facts together, you start kind of understanding that maybe things aren’t exactly how they’re reported." After he was re-interviewed by Detectives, Showen admitted he’d made up the story. The bag of cash was later recovered from his southeast Bend home.
Lt. Burleigh says not only was the investigation into a robbery that didn't happen a waste of time and resources, it also put officers at risk, "Just imagine at 3:30 in the afternoon in Bend, responding lights and sirens, traffic is pretty tough to get through. So, there’s an increased, or a raised concern for just responding to that area."
Showen is charged with filing a false report and aggravated theft.