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MailTribune.com
  • Two suspects charged in vehicle battery thefts

  • Medford police arrested two men Tuesday on charges stemming from the theft of numerous automobile batteries and scrap metal that occurred Nov. 21, according to a news release.
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  • Medford police arrested two men Tuesday on charges stemming from the theft of numerous automobile batteries and scrap metal that occurred Nov. 21, according to a news release.
    Joe Lloyd Brotton, 36, and Travis Tritt, 30, of the 200 block of Chestnut Avenue, Medford, were arrested following a tip they had sold about 25 car batteries to recycling businesses in town. The two men allegedly stole car batteries from four Medford businesses, along with additional batteries and scrap metal from a White City property.
    The two men have not yet been connected to all of a raft of similar crimes, so the investigation is still ongoing, police said.
    They have been charged with first-degree theft, two counts of first-degree theft by receiving and three counts of third-degree theft.
    Both men were cited and released, Medford police Lt. Bob Hansen said.
    Hansen said the number of vehicle battery thefts has increased by 25 percent over the past year. These stolen batteries are taken from cars, RVs, travel trailers and construction equipment before being sold to battery wholesale operations for $9 per battery.
    Police said to make sure vehicle hoods are securely latched and that doors are locked to prevent thieves from getting in and popping the hood. If the hood does not lock, motorists should park under a light or in a secure garage.
    They also recommended RV owners remove batteries from the vehicle when not in use. Writing in indelible ink on the battery so it can be identified easily also is suggested.
    —Ryan Pfeil
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