String of thefts in Medford might be related

MEDFORD — police are investigating a string of thefts from unlocked cars, garages and storage units in east Medford last week.

Between Sept. 21 and 25, three thefts of items from vehicles, an attempted bicycle theft and three burglaries were reported in an old east Medford neighborhood near Ninth Street, Medford police Lt. Bob Hansen said.

With so many crimes happening so close together in time and location, police suspect they could be related, he said.

They all happened during the evening or overnight. In each case, the thieves targeted electronics — including several laptop computers and cameras — jewelry and sporting goods kept in unlocked areas.

"There was no sign of forced entry on any of these," Hansen said. "It was all unlocked."

The reports were scattered across Willamette, Portland, Vancouver and Ashland avenues and East 10th Street, Hansen said. All were within a half mile radius of the 1100 block of East Ninth Street.

Vehicles were entered on Sept. 21, 22 and 24. The thief or thieves took a variety of small items left in cars, such as iPods, compact discs, cassettes, cameras, and DVDs.

A thief tried to steal a bike on Willamette Avenue on Sept. 21, but abandoned the attempt, police said.

The burglaries hit a detached garage on Vancouver Avenue, a storage closet accessed from outside and, in the case that concerns police the most, an Ashland Avenue home while the residents were out for the evening.

The couple returned home at about 8:30 p.m. Saturday after being out for several hours. They found the back door was unlocked and a burglar had taken a variety of jewelry, cameras, and a .38-caliber handgun.

"People need to make sure they lock up," Hansen said, noting that thieves generally avoid difficult-to-access buildings and vehicles.

In addition to reminding people to keep doors and windows of vehicles, homes and outbuildings secure, police want to find out if anybody saw anything suspicious last week in the neighborhood between East Jackson Street and Bear Creek Park.

Investigators ask anyone with information about the reported thefts to call the Crime Stoppers tip line at 1-800-850-0580.

Reach reporter Anita Burke at 541-776-4485, or e-mail

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