Medford man arrested for allegedly taking store cash register

A thief ripped out a cash register at a Subway sandwich shop at 1 a.m. Sunday night, and fled the scene after frightening the woman behind the counter, according to Medford police.

Robert Joseph Houle, 27, no known address, was later arrested by police on charges of robbery, criminal mischief and theft. He is being held in Jackson County Jail on $45,000 bail.

"The suspect entered the business and ordered a sandwich," Medford police Cpl. Tom Venables said. "He then demanded the clerk open the register."

The Subway, at 2366 W. Main St., is in the shopping center next to Albertsons at the corner of North Ross Lane and Main Street.

The women, who was alone inside the store, refused his demand, he said.

The suspect didn't make the demand in a particularly threatening manner at first, and he also didn't display a weapon, Venables said.

At this point, the suspect jumped over the counter, and the woman fled to the bathroom and locked herself inside, Venables said.

"She was a little frightened, for sure," he said.

The suspect pulled the cash register off the counter and fled the building on foot, he said. "He made a big mess," Venables said.

Another officer at the scene reviewed the video surveillance and was able to identify Houle, Venables said.

Houle is well-known to local police.

On June 30, Medford police arrested Houle on a charge of possession of heroin. He was processed and released from jail.

He was arrested again on July 20 of charges of one count of possession of methamphetamine, one count of possession of heroin and one count of second-degree theft. He was lodged in jail but released because of overcrowding.

On Aug. 21, Houle was arrested on charges of possession of methamphetamine and three counts of failure to appear in court. He was lodged in jail on $25,000 bail. Jail officials could not verify if Houle was released because of overcrowding.

Reach reporter Damian Mann at 541-776-4476 or

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