Robert Thomas stands with his son, Jacoby, 11, as he talks about his struggle with a would-be burglar, Michael Brandon Mak, Thursday inside his Medford home. Mail Tribune / Julia Moore - Julia Moore

Medford man battles intruder

Fifty-one-year-old Robert Thomas was watching television just after 11 p.m. Wednesday at his home in the 500 block of South Grape Street when he looked up to see a shadow in his kitchen.

When Thomas got up to investigate, he found an interloper, whom police later identified as Michael Brandon Mak, 20, of the 600 block of Crystal Drive, Eagle Point.

Startled, Thomas grabbed the first thing he could reach — a bicycle parked on the floor nearby — and threw it at Mak. Mak tried to flee, but Thomas grabbed his wrist, police reported.

"I tried to throw him down twice. I couldn't," Thomas said.

The two struggled, trading blows. A window broke. Broken glass rained down on the floor, and Thomas cut his bare feet on some of the pieces. Thomas' 11-year-old son, Jacoby, awoke during the fight but was not hurt.

Police said Mak escaped from the home.

Responding officers tracked down a suspect matching Mak's description walking through an alley near the intersection of 13th and Fir streets, about a block away.

Mak ran from police and hid in some nearby bushes, where officers found and arrested him, police said. Mak was uncooperative when police interviewed him, said Lt. Mike Budreau.

"He spit in the officer's face. Twice," Budreau said. "So that was the end of that interview."

Mak was booked in the Jackson County Jail on charges of first-degree burglary, second-degree theft, unlawful entry into a motor vehicle, third-degree criminal mischief, fourth-degree assault and two counts of harassment. On Thursday afternoon, he remained in jail on $41,000 bail.

"It could have been worse," Thomas said. "I'm just glad my son's safe. Really, it was traumatic. I didn't sleep the rest of the night."

Authorities allege Mak removed a screen from the window in Thomas' apartment and crawled inside to the laundry room.

Police said Mak did not take anything from the Thomas home, but officers found a camera wrapped in a sweatshirt on the ground. Investigators determined the camera was stolen from a neighbor's vehicle.

Court records show Mak has been convicted of harassment, improper use of an emergency reporting system and disorderly conduct.

Reach reporter Ryan Pfeil at 541-776-4468 or

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