Woman at Portland ice cream shop robbed with syringe 'full of AIDS'

Woman at Portland ice cream shop robbed with syringe 'full of AIDS' »Play Video

PORTLAND, Ore. -- An ice cream shop was robbed twice in two weeks. But it's the latest robber's weapon of choice that made the crime unusual and terrifying.

It happened at the Baskin-Robbins on Southwest Broadway across the street from Pioneer Courthouse Square.

Katharine Pepin, 19, was getting ready to close the store just before 9 p.m. on Tuesday.  She told police a man entered the store, showed her a syringe, and demanded money.

"Some guy just walked in and said, ‘This is a robbery. This is a needle full of AIDS’, and then ‘Open the cash drawer’, and so I did,” Pepin explained.

Before Pepin opened the cash register drawer and handed over the money, she got a good look at what was inside the syringe.

"It looked like a bloody substance,” Pepin said.

Pepin’s been scooping ice cream at the store for a few months as a second job. She moved to Portland from Colorado last summer.

She hopes to start college at the University of Oregon next fall.

She told KATU that her adrenaline didn't kick in until after the man ran off.

"My phone wasn't working. And that's the only phone we can make outgoing calls with so I ran across the street and called 911,” Pepin said.

Police are looking for a white man in his 20s who is about 5-foot-9 with brown hair. He was wearing glasses and bright clothes.

Despite the syringe stickup, Pepin returned to work for her Wednesday night shift less than 24 hours later.

"At the moment I was terrified, and I mean I’ve been a little jumpy,” said Pepin.

She said she's not afraid of the syringe-wielding guy coming back.

"I just don't want to work alone again,” Pepin said.

She won't have to scoop solo anymore. From now on Pepin's boss will have employees work in pairs.

"It definitely could have been worse. I feel pretty lucky,” Pepin said.

Portland Police are asking anyone with information about this case to contact them.