Burglar sneaks in while northeast Medford neighbors sleep

A burglar snatched wallets from a home, a garage and a car parked in a driveway in northeast Medford early Tuesday, Medford police said.

Investigators suspect that a young man spotted in a driveway on the 2000 block of Stockel Court at about 3:45 a.m. Tuesday was linked to the spate of break-ins discovered later that morning. He apparently slipped in through unlocked doors to steal a purse, two wallets and some electronics while people slept.

"It is a very bold, brazen act," Medford police Detective Sgt. Mike Budreau said, noting that anyone who sneaks into an occupied house has to be prepared for a potentially violent confrontation that could pose a danger to the thief and the home's resident.

Police believe four break-ins reported Tuesday are related.

In the 2900 block of North Keene Way Drive, a burglar came in through an unlocked door and stole a woman's purse while she slept, police said.

In the 2000 block of Stockel Court, the burglar entered an unlocked garage and took electronics and a wallet from a car parked inside. The owner was asleep inside the house, which is attached to the garage.

At another address in the 2000 block of Stockel Court, the thief snatched a wallet from a parked car, while at yet another address in the same block, a car window was smashed, but nothing was taken, Budreau said. About a month ago, another window on that same car was broken, he said.

A man whose wallet was taken in the crime spree had seen a young, white man, likely in his late teens, wearing light-colored clothing and riding a BMX bike in his driveway at about 3:45 a.m., police said.

When the man asked the teen what he was doing, the teen said he was looking for a lost pit bull, then quickly rode away, Budreau said. The man didn't notice that his wallet was gone from his vehicle until later in the morning and didn't call police until then, Budreau said.

Investigators ask anyone with information about these crimes to call Detective Justin Ivens at 774-2234.

— Anita Burke

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