Guilty plea entered in four bank robberies

A man who was arrested for a series of bank robberies in late 2012 and early 2013 pleaded guilty Tuesday in Jackson County Circuit Court, prosecutors said.

Christopher Ryan Wood, 31, of Medford, pleaded guilty to three counts of third-degree robbery and four counts of first-degree theft, said Jackson County prosecuting attorney Nick Geil. The charges stem from four bank robberies in December 2012 and January 2013 in which Wood made off with more than $20,000 total. He was sentenced to 18 months in prison and is eligible for early release.

"This guy had no criminal history going into this," Geil said.

The bank robberies occurred at the U.S. Bank branch housed inside Albertsons off North Phoenix Road on Dec. 1 and Dec. 30, and at the Sterling Savings Bank on Stewart Avenue on Dec. 21 and Jan. 25.

Geil said Wood acted in an aggressive manner during three of those robberies.

"In each of those three robbery situations, based on the way he was acting, clerks believed he was going to use physical force on them if they didn't comply," Geil said, adding Wood never displayed a weapon. "The staff maintained their composure very well."

In the fourth attempt, Wood used a note to demand money, Geil added. It's unclear what spurred Wood into his spree of robberies.

"I can't speak to what his underlying issues were," Geil said.

Wood's undoing came when he tried again to rob the Albertsons location on Feb. 9. Staff recognized him from the previous incidents and asked whether they could help him.

He said he was there to open a new account, but then grew anxious and fled, according to a story in the Mail Tribune archives. Police tracked him down and arrested him that day.

After his arrest, Wood confessed to the four previous robberies.

"I'm just glad nobody got hurt," Geil said.

Reach reporter Ryan Pfeil at 541-776-4468 or

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