SPRINGFIELD, Ore.-- After weeks of robberies and fear in the Eugene and Springfield areas, Springfield police have made two arrests in connection with at least one of those incidents.
Springfield police arrested 40-year-old Thomas Tkacs of Eugene, and 32-year-old Waquas Ali "Vick" Bhatti around 7:30 Friday morning.
Lieutenant Scott McKee told KEZI 9 News the men were arrested in connection with the robbery at Lucky Lou’s Deli that happened on March 12th.
The arrest happened after police were tipped off by a clerk at a local business. The clerk told police the men were acting suspicious, coming and going from a car, and moving the car around. Soon after undercover detectives arrived, the car sped off.
Police made a traffic stop, then found evidence they believe link the men to the robbery at Lucky Lou's; including a gun and clothing believed to have been worn by one of the men during the robbery.
During the robbery, police say one suspect stole from multiple people. He then hit a female customer in the head while she was trying to give him cash, and then stole a carton of cigarettes before walking out of the business. A K-9 unit tracked him to South 42nd Street but then lost the trail.
“If you see something suspicious call us. We would much rather have you call and have it be a false alarm than have you not call and have it be a robbery that was being planned. So, you know in this case kuddos really to that citizen to call us and just say 'hey, this looks suspicious you guys might want to check this out,” Lt. McKee said.
McKee added that they are working with Eugene Police to see if the suspects are connected to any other robberies, but as of now, they are still not sure.
Both men in this case have been charged with five counts of second-degree robbery.