Portland, Oregon smoke shop owner robbed at gunpoint while talking to his mom on FaceTime

Posted at 11:51 AM, Dec 22, 2017
and last updated 2017-12-22 11:51:18-05

Ramy Rafeh is still reeling after being robbed at gunpoint in his store Wednesday night.

Rafeh said he was working behind the counter at Smokers Zone in southeast Portland when a black man wearing a hoodie and a scarf over half his face came up to a buy a Coke.

“He grabbed a soda, I was scanning it and then he pulled a gun and telling me to open the cash register,” Rafeh said. “I thought it was a joke or something, but he said, ‘open the cash register or I will kill you.’ So there I was, like, afraid. I opened the cash register and he took all the money.”

Surveillance video shows the robber grabbing Rafeh’s cell phone and slamming it down on the counter. Rafeh was talking with his mother on FaceTime. The suspect turned off the screen, but the call was still connected and Rafeh’s mom heard everything.

“She’s in Venezuela so she’s like, ‘what’s happening with you?’ She was worried about it, but everything went OK, you know, thank God,” Rafeh said.

At one point, the suspect went behind the counter to steal more cash. Rafeh slipped away, called police and called his mother back.

Rafeh wants to warn other business owners the suspect is still out there.

“They have to be safe. And everybody who enters with a hoodie, he should take it out, you know,” he said.