Alert witnesses help nab daytime burglary suspect

Medford police have arrested a man suspected in a string of daytime burglaries in east Medford early this week.

Detectives caught up with Tyler Scott Sparks, 22, of the 900 block of Collinwood Lane, Medford, late Tuesday. He now faces six counts of first-degree burglary, two counts of attempted first-degree burglary and three counts of first-degree theft, detective Sgt. Mike Budreau said.

Six burglaries were reported Sunday and Monday when people returned from a day out, along with two attempted burglaries in which a suspicious man knocked on doors to determine if anyone was home. When residents answered the door, the man asked if they had lost an item he claimed to have found in their yard — jewelry in one case and a screwdriver in another, police said.

At about 7:30 p.m. Monday, a woman arrived home to find the burglar in her St. Clair Street house. Other burglaries were reported in the 700 block of Amhurst Way and the 1100 block of West View Court.

Investigators suspected the crimes were related as witnesses in the targeted neighborhoods all described a man in his early to mid-20s with short brown hair and a goatee.

After the woman on St. Clair Street interrupted the burglar in her home and he ran out the back door, a neighbor saw the man emerge from behind another house and get in a silver Honda Civic parked nearby. The witness gave police the Honda's license plate number, which, when combined with evidence collected at the burglarized homes, led to Sparks, Budreau said.

Budreau praised the attentive witnesses who provided police with information that helped them track down Sparks.

Police recovered three handguns and a laptop computer that were reported stolen in the burglaries. About half of the items reportedly taken were found and investigators hope to get more items back, Budreau said. Sparks is cooperating with investigators as they continue to work on the case.

When the investigation is complete, all information will be presented to the Jackson County District Attorney's office, Budreau said.

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