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MailTribune.com
  • Suspect in heist makes an unusual getaway

    Medford man arrested after riding away in county car
  • A Jackson County Mental Health caseworker became an unwitting accomplice in a bank robbery Tuesday when the client he was taking on errands held up a Chase Bank branch while the caseworker waited in the car.
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  • A Jackson County Mental Health caseworker became an unwitting accomplice in a bank robbery Tuesday when the client he was taking on errands held up a Chase Bank branch while the caseworker waited in the car.
    Medford police say the caseworker was helping Nicholas York, 35, run some errands when the pair pulled up to the bank on Crater Lake Avenue.
    York hopped out of the car, which had the Jackson County emblem pasted on the door, and entered the bank. The caseworker remained in the car, not aware that his client intended to commit a robbery, Medford police Lt. Mike Budreau said.
    "The mental-health worker had no clue what was happening," Budreau said.
    Upon entering the bank, York began acting erratically, according to witnesses.
    "He was very aggressive and demanding," Budreau said. "At some point he mentioned the bank vault to a teller and she knew that a robbery was occurring."
    York allegedly demanded money and left the bank with a "good amount" of cash, Budreau said.
    "He got back in the car like nothing happened," Budreau said. "The mental health worker did not suspect anything was up."
    The caseworker then drove York back to the Cedar Lodge on North Riverside Avenue. The caseworker had recently helped York get a room at the lodge after he moved to Medford earlier this month, Budreau said.
    Little did he know that two witnesses had watched the county car drive away from the bank. They wrote the license plate number down and phoned police with the information, Budreau said.
    "At first, I thought someone had stolen a county car and committed a bank robbery," Budreau said. "But the witnesses said the car left the parking lot at a low, normal speed, which is unlike what you'd normally see from a getaway driver."
    Investigators ran the plates and soon contacted the caseworker, who told them he had just left the bank with York.
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