As Russian ballet dancers were in the middle of their Monday night performance of the “Great Russian Nutcracker” at Bend’s Tower Theatre, an alleged robber was trying to steal their bags off the tour bus parked behind the theater.
Bend Police say Steven Terrill Dorsey, 46, of Ontario, opened the unlocked cargo hatch and pulled out nine bags full of audio and visual equipment, jewelry and passports.
He was approached by the Moscow Ballet’s production manager Dan Gibbs, who had stepped outside to get cases of water for the dancers.
“I saw this guy that very obviously didn’t belong,” Gibbs said. “He stood up and said, ‘This is my bus, I’m getting my things out.’ I said, ‘No this is my bus. You need to get out of there.’”
Dorsey then reportedly reached under his hooded sweatshirt and told Gibbs he had a 9mm handgun. He never drew a gun, and Gibbs pulled out his phone in front of Dorsey and called 911, reporting he was being robbed.
Dorsey then left the bags and fled. Police found him later that night about two blocks from the theater, sitting in front of the Pine Tavern. He was booked in the Deschutes County jail just after 10 p.m. and made an initial appearance Tuesday in Deschutes County Circuit Court on charges of first-degree theft and second-degree robbery.
“He was pretty adamant it was his bus,” Gibbs said. “It was quite amusing.”
Moscow Ballet is on its 25th anniversary tour of North America. The ballet’s final show in Bend was Tuesday night.
Gibbs, who lives in Nashville when not on tour, said it is common for people to mess with the tour buses. He wasn’t surprised to see Dorsey rummaging around.
“This is the kind of thing that happens,” Gibbs said. “People see a tour bus and it’s just one of the unfortunate things. We have had people attack the bus, throw things on the bus or try to get on the bus.”
Moscow Ballet Producer Akiva Talmi said the 34 Russian dancers are on their way to shows in Canada — and having their passports stolen could have caused a major hurdle to the tour.
Besides the passports, jewelry and video equipment, the bags also contained personal mementos that have special meaning to the cast.
“We had the entire bus emptied out by this man,” Talmi said.
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