Police suspect recent robberies may be linked

Medford police are looking for a man who robbed a Circle K in Medford Thursday night and might be linked to other convenience store robberies around the valley.

About 11:30 p.m. Thursday, a man wearing a black baseball hat, black hooded sweatshirt, blue jeans and a green cloth over his nose and mouth entered the Circle K store on the corner of Riverside Avenue and Barnett Road and demanded money from the clerk, police said in a news release.

The robber showed a handgun in his waistband. He took an undisclosed amount of cash and left the store, running northeast.

A police dog called to the scene tried to find the man, but was unsuccessful, Medford police Lt. Bob Hansen said in the news release.

The robber is described as a white man, 6 feet to 6 feet 3 inches tall with a thin build.

The man's description and the details of the heist are similar to those at two other recent armed robberies: one at an Ashland Minute Market on June 17 and one at a Medford Minute Market on Tuesday.

In the Ashland robbery, a man, described as either white or Hispanic, around 30 and roughly 6 feet tall and thin, came into the Minute Market at 304 N. Main St. at 11:23 p.m., Ashland police said in a news release.

The man wore a black hooded sweatshirt, black baseball cap, blue jeans and black tennis shoes with white laces and white soles, and had his face covered with a red bandana.

He showed a handgun, took money from the clerk and ran from the store.

Ashland police, with the help of officers from Talent police, Jackson County Sheriff's Department and a Medford police dog, searched the area, but couldn't find the man.

On Tuesday in Medford, a lone man came into the Minute Market at 610 E. Main St. He had his face covered and wore a black and white hooded sweatshirt, which he lifted up to display a gun tucked into his waistband, Hansen said. The robber carried a bag, which he presented to the clerk, getting an undisclosed amount of cash. He then walked out of the store.

Hansen said police arrived quickly after the robbery was reported and searched the area with the help of a dog. However, no suspect was found.

"It's a very similar situation," Hansen said, noting that all three robberies happened between 11 p.m. and midnight at convenience stores that are open 24 hours a day. Each time the suspect was described as a tall, thin man. In both Medford robberies, the man showed a concealed handgun. No vehicle was seen at any of the robberies, although the robber quickly fled each time, eluding responding officers.

While investigators look into the possibility that one man might be responsible for all the robberies, police are asking the public for help.

Anyone with information about the Medford cases should call Medford Police Detective Bill Ford at 541-774-2236. Anyone with information about the Ashland crime should call Ashland Police Detective Sgt. Jim Alderman at 541-482-5211 Ext. 2124.

Reach web editor Anita Burke at 541-776-4485, or e-mail aburke@mailtribune.com.

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