15 cars burglarized in Rogue River, police say

ROGUE RIVER — Police are on the hunt for a pair of teens or young men who burglarized more than a dozen unlocked cars across town late Friday night.

The men, dressed in all black and believed to be between 16 and 20 years old, were spotted at about 4:30 a.m. Saturday near Robbins Avenue and Third Street in Rogue River by a man watching them prowl through the neighborhood, authorities said.

"The witness happened to be up smoking a cigarette," said Rogue River Police Chief Ken Lewis. "He saw them going from car to car."

When the suspects tried to open the witness' car, he shouted at them and told them to leave.

The suspects shouted back, and told the man to stay away, or they would "kill him," Lewis said.

Lewis believes this was probably the last car the suspects tried to enter because the witness called 9-1-1 and soon officers from the Rogue River Police Department and the Oregon State Police were on the scene.

Officers attempted to chase down the suspects in a police car, but they got away.

Reports of the burglarized cars still were coming in late Monday, with 15 total cars reporting items stolen.

The missing items, estimated to be worth $2,000, include GPS units, satellite radios and music CDs, as well as a small amount of cash. There also was a report of one tool shed being burglarized, and another witness said he saw the men attempt to open the front door of a residence.

"For years we've tried to tell people in this town to lock their homes and their cars," said Lewis. "People commit crimes against other people, and the fact the people don't lock their vehicles just makes it easier."

The officer who tried chasing the suspects described one of the men as a white male, between 16 and 20 years old and more than 6 feet tall with a slender build.

Lewis believes the burglaries could have happened anytime between 11 p.m. Friday until police were called early Saturday.

Lewis said that police have some clues as to who the burglars might be, and added incidents like this happen every year or two.

"We've had a group of juveniles here that we've had problems with in the past," Lewis said. "We expect this was two local juveniles."

Crime Stoppers of Southern Oregon is helping with the case, and asking anyone with information about these crimes to call the Rogue River Police Department at 541-582-4931.

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