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James Weber

Out-of-state bandits caught on tape

Three Washington people who allegedly came to Medford in a stolen car to make a drug deal were arrested Monday in Medford, accused of stealing guns, jewelry and other items in two daytime burglaries this past weekend that were solved with the help of private surveillance systems.

Two of the suspects were arrested this morning at a Medford motel and the third was found at a southeast Medford home when police entered the house with a search warrant after failing to coax the suspect outside, according to the Medford Police Department.

Guns, jewelry and other items taken in the burglaries were recovered, and all three suspects remained lodged Monday in the Jackson County Jail on several felony charges.

The cases began Friday when police were investigating a daytime burglary on Sunrise Avenue in East Medford, where a door was kicked in and the house ransacked before the suspects made off with thousands of dollars in jewelry and other items, police said.

A video surveillance camera from a nearby church showed two male suspects leaving the area of the burglary carrying stolen property and getting into a green Honda Accord driven by a third person, police said.

On Saturday, police investigated a second daytime burglary on Hybiscus Street where several firearms and jewelry were taken, police said. In that case, a neighbor’s surveillance video caught the same two men approaching the residence and fleeing in the same car, police said.

About 3 a.m. Monday, Medford police found the getaway car, which was reported stolen in Washington, parked at the Motel 6 off Alba Drive and identified the room associated with the car, police said.

There they arrested the alleged getaway driver, 29-year-old Ashley Ontiveros, without incident and arrested co-defendant 29-year-old James Weber after a short foot chase, police said.

Numerous firearms and other items stolen in the two burglaries were found in the motel room, police said.

Investigators were able to identify the third suspect as 25-year-old Alexander Bowen and believed he was staying at a residence on the 1100 block of Olympic Avenue, where police were unable to coax anyone out of the residence, police said.

Officers armed with a search warrant entered the residence at 9:44 a.m. and found Bowen along with four other people and another cache of items stolen in the heists, police said.

All three suspects were arrested on two counts of first-degree burglary and single counts of first-degree theft and aggravated first-degree theft. Weber and Ontiveros were also arrested on single counts of unauthorized use of a motor vehicle. Weber and Bowen were also taken into custody on fugitive warrants out of Washington, records show.

Bowen and Weber were being held Monday in jail without bail, while Ontiveros was being held on $65,000 bail, records show.

Medford police urge residents with surveillance cameras to register their equipment with the city so police can contact residents and possibly view the footage if a crime was committed nearby.

The program is called SCRAM, an acronym for Surveillance Camera Registration and Mapping. To join, visit the web site at www.medfordpd.com/scram.

Reach Mail Tribune reporter Mark Freeman at 541-776-4470 or mfreeman@rosebudmedia.com. Follow him on Twitter at www.twitter.com/MTwriterFreeman.

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