Medford investigators are looking for a bike-riding burglary suspect believed to have stolen thousands of dollars worth of jewelry and electronics Monday morning.
Officers were tipped to the crimes when an 85-year-old woman reported that her home in the 700 block of Mindy Sue had been broken into.
The woman said she left her west Medford home at 10 a.m. to run some errands, and when she returned at noon she found that someone had entered the house through an unsecured window.
She told officers that several thousand dollars worth of jewelry was missing.
Police canvassed the neighborhood and found witnesses who told them that a suspicious man was seen standing in the victim's front yard prior to the burglary.
"These two witnesses were on a bike ride when they saw the suspect standing in the yard smoking a cigarette," Medford police Lt. Mike Budreau said. "They actually made another loop around the block to get another look at him because they thought it was very strange the guy would be out in a jacket on a day that was nearly 100 degrees."
The bicyclists later told officers that they wished they had called police to report the individual, Budreau said.
The witnesses said the suspect was a dark-skinned man with black hair and dark, scruffy facial hair. He was wearing tan pants and a dark jacket.
Budreau said the woman was distraught over losing her lifetime's collection of jewelry.
"Not only was it a high value in jewelry, but much of it had sentimental value," Budreau said.
During their investigation, police learned that a nearby house was fitted with a surveillance camera that captured images of the suspect as he pedaled away from the scene on his bicycle.
The video showed the man entering another nearby house, in the 600 block of Hedy Jane, where he climbed through an unsecured back window.
The man who lived there was summoned from work to check his home and reported that the intruder had taken a Toshiba laptop computer, a digital camera and a gold watch. The items were valued at $2,000, police said.
Budreau warned that it's always a good idea to keep windows and doors locked, especially in the summer months.
"It's the time of year when people open their windows at night for fresh, cooler air," Budreau said. "But we see most burglars enter homes through unsecured doors and windows."
Police are trying to identify the man in the surveillance video. Anyone with information should contact Medford police at 541-770-4783.
Reach reporter Chris Conrad at 541-776-4471 or firstname.lastname@example.org.