A Gina’s Restaurant employee did not approve of her boss sending his wife to help her open the Woodburn eatery every morning while he stayed home, Oregon police say.
So Chanh Tran, 47, came up with a plan to frighten him into helping out more — she hired a homeless man from Portland to stage a robbery while the two women worked alone, police told KGW.
But the May 24 fake robbery went awry when the man Tran hired, Conan Dehut, 36, cut Tran on the arm with his knife, police told the station. Then investigators found a surveillance video of Tran dropping Dehut off behind Gina’s Restaurant an hour before the robbery.
Police arrested Dehut in Portland on Friday, KGW reported. He and Tran face charges of attempted robbery, unlawful use of a weapon and menacing.
Tran told police she sympathized with the owner’s wife “because it was not fair to make her work more, and possibly dangerous,” according to KATU. She hoped the fake robbery might motivate the owner to help out in the mornings to ensure their safety, police said.
Tran met Dehut in Portland, offering him a cell phone and cash to pretend to rob Gina’s Restaurant, according to the station. The two practiced the robbery the night before “to make it look as real as possible,” police told KATU.
Dehut was supposed to drag the owner’s wife to the back of the restaurant, grab her clothing and place a knife to her throat before Tran would intervene and offer him money to leave, police told The Oregonian.
But the fake robbery didn’t go as planned, according to the publication.
As Dehut tried to enter the restaurant, Tran tried to block the door while "giving him stern looks implying that he needed to do his part," police told The Oregonian.
After Dehut forced his way inside, Tran put money on the floor for him, which he collected and fled, police told the publication. At some point, Dehut accidentally cut Tran’s arm with his knife.
On Friday, Tran told police she’d tell the truth about the robbery and helped them find Dehut in Portland, according to The Oregonian.