Teens locked up in attempted robbery

Two 16-year-old boys face robbery charges for allegedly confronting a man with a knife and demanding he hand over his possessions late Tuesday, Medford police reported.

The 27-year-old man was walking back to an apartment in the 200 block of Cottage Street from the Minute Market at 610 E. Main St. at about 9:55 p.m. Tuesday when three teens confronted him in an alley behind the apartment, Medford police Lt. Mike Budreau said.

The teens, who had just gotten out of a blue Cadillac, showed a knife and told the man it was a robbery and he should empty his pockets for them, Budreau said. The man ignored them and kept walking. He went inside, but the teens threw a beer bottle at the house.

He went back outside, where they continued with threats and taunts that the man described to police as "talking gangster."

The teen with the knife approached a neighbor who had come out to see what the commotion was about and made more threats. Other neighbors told the teens that police had been called.

"It was a good show of force by the neighbors," Budreau said. "(The teens) weren't going to leave this victim alone until they realized they were outnumbered."

The boys ran away, but officers caught up with them nearby at Ninth and Tripp streets. Witnesses identified the two 16-year-olds as being involved in the confrontation. They couldn't positively identify the third boy, but officials found that he was wanted on a warrant linking him to a burglary case. All three were lodged at the Jackson County juvenile detention center, Budreau said. Police said the teens were intoxicated at the time of the clash.

The teen who reportedly had the knife faces charges of first-degree robbery, menacing and disorderly conduct. The other teen faces charges of first-degree robbery and disorderly conduct, police said.

Budreau noted that any theft or attempted theft by use or threat of force is considered a robbery under state law.

Reach reporter Anita Burke at 541-776-4485, or email aburke@mailtribune.com.

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