Alert neighbor calls police, thwarting Medford burglary

A west Medford burglary was interrupted Saturday night after a neighbor reported two suspicious men lingering in the backyard of the victim's empty home, Medford police said.

Forrest Alexis Garrett, 19, of Medford, and John Douglas Pope, 23, of Medford, ran away when police pulled up to the residence near the corner of Columbus and West Main Streets, but both men were arrested shortly after and lodged in the Jackson County Jail.

Before willingly giving himself up, Garrett wrestled free from one officer, who had initially caught up to him on foot, said Medford police patrol Sgt. Don Lane.

"I don't know why but about a block after their scuffle, he just decided to give up," Lane said.

Garrett was charged with first-degree theft, first-degree burglary, criminal mischief, assault of a police officer, fourth-degree assault, harassment, resisting arrest and second-degree disorderly conduct; his bail is set at $115,000.

About 20 minutes later, Pope was tracked down and found hiding in the backyard of a residence four blocks away by Leroy, a Medford police canine, Lane said.

Pope was charged with first-degree theft, first-degree burglary, criminal mischief, second-degree disorderly conduct, and interfering with police; his bail is set at $33,000.

Police are continuing to investigate the incident and would not release information in regard to what property was stolen, but said it was valued at more than $1,000.

Lane said, the failed burglary, which was reported at about 6:30 p.m., is one of many in which police can tip their hats to watchful citizens.

"The majority of law enforcement success is largely due to the role of citizens and the relationship we have with them," he said. "If people are seeing something suspicious, err on the side of caution and call us. If it turns out to be nothing — no problem — but it's better safe than sorry," he said.

Reach reporter Sam Wheeler at 541-776-4468 or at

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