Cops report nothing new in July 2009 bank caper

What is the status of the investigation of the sophisticated heist that occurred at the Chase branch on Stewart and Barnett. I have not heard about any arrests or leads.

— Steve A., via e-mail

Medford police report that they don't have any new leads in the unusual break-in at the Chase branch at 81 E. Stewart Ave.

The burglary was discovered July 20, 2009, when bank employees came to work after a weekend. They found that the burglar had slipped in, accessed the vault and stolen items stored in safe deposit boxes.

Few details about the case were released, although police called it a caper worthy of the movies.

In addition to Medford police, the Federal Bureau of Investigation was involved in the case. The agencies sought information on similar crimes across the region and found another unsolved case in Redding, Calif., from five years earlier.

In the Redding case, burglars apparently slipped into a Bank of America branch on Hilltop Drive through a rooftop access door and chiseled their way into a concrete vault, the Redding Record Searchlight reported in May 2004. Investigators suspected that the thieves might have spent more than a month cracking through concrete to get into the vault, as an alarm on the vault had tripped during the night numerous times in the five weeks before the crime was discovered, but each time the bank's doors and windows were secure.

Redding police said the FBI has taken over the case and was attempting DNA testing of some evidence found at the scene.

Both cases happened shortly after remodeling projects at the banks and both remain unsolved, authorities said.

Send questions to "Since You Asked," Mail Tribune Newsroom, P.O. Box 1108, Medford, OR 97501; by fax to 541-776-4376; or by e-mail to We're sorry, but the volume of questions received prevents us from answering all of them.

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