Home used to dry pot burglarized

A house that doubled as a marijuana drying room was burglarized and pot worth thousands of dollars was stolen, according to the Jackson County Sheriff's Office.

The suspect in the case, Donald Dean Leiter, 43, of the 1500 block of Stardust Way in Medford faces charges of second-degree burglary, first-degree theft and second-degree criminal mischief, according to Jackson County Circuit Court records.

Leiter was scheduled to be arraigned on the charges Tuesday but failed to appear in court. A warrant was issued for his arrest. He had been released from the Jackson County Jail on his own recognizance.

In late December, a property owner in the 19000 block of East Evans Creek Road captured security camera footage of a man attempting to force open a window to a residence used to dry marijuana, according to an affidavit filed by the sheriff's office.

The man cut camera cords and forced open a back door, but a camera that was still working inside captured video of the man in the house, according to the affidavit.

"The camera inside shows Leiter loading up two large totes of dried marijuana," the affidavit alleged.

The property owner estimated five to eight pounds of marijuana were stolen. He estimated each pound was worth $1,000, the affidavit said.

Damage to the cameras was estimated at $250, the affidavit said.

Leiter was arrested Jan. 2 and confessed to stealing the marijuana, the affidavit alleged.

While the sheriff's office was investigating the crime, Leiter allegedly gave consent to a search of his vehicle, where methamphetamine was discovered, according to another affidavit.

Leiter was charged with methamphetamine possession, court documents show.

He has a pending case in Josephine County in which he faces charges of second-degree burglary, first-degree theft and first-degree criminal mischief, court records show.

Leiter and an accomplice allegedly broke into a locked building and stole approximately $5,000 worth of marijuana and caused $2,500 in damages in September 2017. The accomplice allegedly threatened an employee with a gun, according to a police affidavit.

Leiter forfeited a $2,000 security deposit on his bail in that case, and a warrant was issued for his arrest, court records show.

Dating back to 1995, Leiter's past convictions include first-degree theft, second-degree theft, third-degree theft, first-degree burglary, second-degree burglary, unauthorized use of a vehicle, fleeing or attempting to elude a police officer, felon in possession of a firearm, criminal driving while his license was suspended or revoked, harassment, possession of a controlled substance, first-degree possession of a forged instrument, driving under the influence of intoxicants, driving uninsured and failure to drive within a lane.

— Reach staff reporter Vickie Aldous at 541-776-4486 or valdous@rosebudmedia.com. Follow her at www.twitter.com/VickieAldous.

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