Wild robbery ruse in Woodburn leaves woman, homeless man in cust - KPTV - FOX 12

Wild robbery ruse in Woodburn leaves woman, homeless man in custody

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WOODBURN, OR (KPTV) -

Police say a Woodburn woman hired a homeless man to help her stage a fake robbery last week.

Officers say it happened at Gina’s Restaurant in Woodburn May 24.  Restaurant owners Jian Tan and his wife, Ruby, said the woman, identified by police as 47-year old-year-old Chanh Tran, was a friend and a customer.

“We don’t understand it either,” Tan said.

Officer said Tran went to Portland the day before the robbery to convince and pay a homeless man, Conan Dehut, to be her accomplice. 

“My wife was so scared, she didn’t know what to do,” Tan said.

Police said Tran and Dehut practiced the fake robbery the night before the incident. The next day, while Ruby was opening the restaurant, she said Dehut arrived asking for change, then returned later with a knife.

“He grabbed the knife out and said, 'give me your money,'” Tan said.

But moments later, Ruby said her friend, Tran, showed up and stepped in front of Ruby to protect her.

“Ruby said, 'I’ll open the door, I’ll give you the money and you leave, just don’t hurt any people,'" Tan said. "She goes to the kitchen back there, hiding, holding her head."

While Ruby was hiding in the back, Tran and Dehut put on their performance. Eventually, police say, Tran gave the man her own money, and at one point Tran got a large cut on her arm before Dehut ran away with the cash.

“Don’t make sense to me, I asked, 'how come they cut you right here?'” Tan said.

Tan said he thinks the cut was self-inflicted. Court records show that Dehut claims that he never hurt her.

Now the question is, why?

“That’s the question for me, too, you know," Tan said. "I keep thinking and I don’t understand."

Police said Tran eventually confessed her entire plot. Court documents show she wanted to prove some kind of point.

Tran told officers she wanted Ruby’s husband to help open the restaurant, and that it wasn’t fair to make Ruby work more, and possibly dangerous because she was alone.

“After that happened, she can’t come here by herself,” Tan said. 

Ruby says she is incredibly shaken, thinking that the robbery was the real thing The family says they’re thankful everyone is okay.

“Don’t hurt the people that help you, you know,” Tan said.

Police say both suspects are in custody and face multiple charges, including unlawful use of a weapon and kidnapping.

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