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1111 S.W. 2nd Avenue, Portland, OR 97204

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August 30, 2001 00:00


On August 30, 2001, two subjects were indicted for Robbery in the First Degree, after allegedly committing armed robbery against a local elderly couple.

The incident took place in late June, when Benjamin and Hazel Currin were returning to Portland after a trip to the East Coast. Their car broke down on the freeway and Thomas Frederick Brower, age 30, and Ina Michelle Hendrix, age 19, stopped to help the Currins with their disabled vehicle. Brower and Hendrix then agreed to drive the Currins to their home. In turn, the Currins invited Brower and Hendrix to stay with them for a few days.

In the early morning hours of July 4, 2001, the Currins reported that they woke up to find Brower pointing a shotgun at them. The Currins say they were restrained and their lives were threatened. They also reported that they were robbed of their vehicle and some property.

Police responded to the scene, and Detectives from the Portland Police Bureau Robbery Division began an investigation. Detectives alerted police agencies throughout the United States. On August 7, 2001, police in North Carolina arrested Brower and Hendrix in the Currins vehicle. Portland Police Detective Wayne Svilar and Anthony Christensen traveled to Lenoir, North Carolina, where they interviewed Brower and Hendrix. The case involved an incredible amount of teamwork and investigation by Portland Detectives.

Increasingly, the elderly, the more trusting members of our community are finding themselves the victims of crime. At 11 a.m. today, Benjamin Currin and Detectives of the Portland Police Bureau Robbery Division will be available to answer general questions about this investigation, and provide tips on how to avoid being victimized. Pictures of Brower and Hendrix will be available at that time.


Media Relations:
Sgt. Pete Simpson
Desk: 503-823-0830
Pager: 503-790-1779

Portland Police Bureau
1111 SW 2nd Ave, Suite 1526
Portland, Oregon 97204



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