Shoplifting charge becomes felony when suspect pulls knife

An Eagle Point man was jailed Monday on felony robbery charges with bail set at more than $2 million for allegedly threatening Food 4 Less employees who suspected him of shoplifting $30 worth of cold medicine and a key ring.

Police were called to the grocery store at 2330 Biddle Road at about 6:40 Monday morning because a suspected shoplifter was fighting with employees, Medford police said in a news release.

Leonel Olvera-Hernandez Jr., 19, of the 600 block of Talbot Street, Eagle Point, had stopped fighting and was in the custody of store security personnel when officers arrived, police Lt. Mike Budreau said.

Store employees told investigators they had seen Olvera-Hernandez take cold medication and a key ring. When they confronted him as he left the store, he ran.

Employees chased him and when they caught up, Olvera-Hernandez stopped and pulled a knife from his pocket, the news release said. Olvera-Hernandez threatened the employees with the knife and said he had a gun in his car. As more store employees caught up, Olvera-Hernandez gave up.

When police arrived, officers took a knife from Olvera-Hernandez, but found no gun. The medication and key ring were returned to the store.

Budreau said that had Olvera-Hernandez complied with store security workers he would have faced only minor charges and might have been cited and released.

"Now he's facing substantial prison time," Budreau said. "He risked other people's lives for just a few small items.

Olvera-Hernandez was arrested on charges of first- and second-degree robbery and third-degree theft. He was lodged in the Jackson County Jail, where he remained late Monday afternoon on just over $2 million bail.

Olvera-Hernandez was arrested last week on charges of manufacture and possession of methamphetamine, Jackson County Circuit Court records show.

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