Police arrest, release, arrest man again

A California man was arrested twice over the past two days for his part in a spree of jewelry store thefts at the Rogue Valley Mall and an attempted theft of a generator from Fred Meyer, Medford police said.

Police allege Richard Rocky Mendez, 25, and his girlfriend Brandy Soshone Mendoza, 31, took a break from visiting family in Eagle Point to shoplift close to $5,000 in jewelry from various stores inside the mall.

"It was a very busy weekend for these two," Medford police Sgt. Brent Mak said.

The pair tipped their hands to police Friday when Mendoza was caught attempting to steal a generator from the Fred Meyer on Highway 62. The loss prevention employee, who had a run-in with Mendoza four years earlier, saw him try to exit the store with the generator and alerted police.

The Fred Meyer employee told police Mendoza had run from the store and was last seen heading to the strip mall across the street on Poplar Drive. Medford police arrested him in front of Jo-Ann Fabrics and Crafts and charged him with first-degree theft, second-degree theft and second-degree disorderly conduct.

"It was a coincidence the loss prevention guy had a fight with (Mendez) four years before," Mak said. "That was the reason Mendez caught his eye when he entered the store."

For her part in the generator theft, Mendoza was charged with first-degree theft.

As the pair were on their way to the jail, officers on the scene checked their car and found bags of jewelry that appeared to have been stolen.

"There was about $5,000 in jewelry in that car," Mak said. "It was expensive gold necklaces and other items of value. We knew we had another case on our hands."

However, before officers could charge Mendez and Mendoza with the jewelry thefts, the couple had bailed themselves out of jail, Mak said.

"We had to track them down back at the home they were staying at in Eagle Point," Mak said. "We arrested Mendez again, this time with the added charges."

Mendoza was not immediately charged in the jewelry store crimes, but could face charges in that case.

Medford police Officer Patrick Dennis made the original arrest in the generator theft and had the honor of traveling to Eagle Point to lodge Mendez on the additional crimes, Mak said.

Mak described the couple as an "organized shoplifting team" that would make small purchases at merchants and then take the shopping bags back to the jewelry counters and load up.

"They appeared to be very good at what they did," Mak said. "It was a good case for us because we caught them and the stores got their merchandise back. It was a win-win. That rarely happens in this business."

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