A recently elected Grants Pass city councilor and owner of Figaro's Pizza on Redwood Highway took matters into his own hands to track down a suspect now charged with breaking into the shop and stealing cash from the register.
Jason Anderson, 36, arrived at his pizzeria on Sunday to find that the money was gone from the till. Video surveillance showed that the burglar, a man pushing a shopping cart full of various items, paced around the store for a while before breaking in through the drive-thru window.
Anderson determined that the suspect was more than likely homeless, due to the shopping cart, and with the images on the camera as a reference, went out to various homeless camps around town to find the man.
Anderson found the man matching the one on the footage at an area on Northeast F Street.
"I went looking around town for probably three hours before I found the guy who I thought looked like the man on the cameras," Anderson said. "Then I called the police, who arrived quickly and handled the situation well."
Police arrested Steven Ray Borden, 52, on burglary charges. He is being held without bail on a probation violation charge in connection with a previous conviction for first-degree burglary.
Lt. Todd Moran of Grants Pass Department of Public Safety said that police often work with the public to solve cases and it can be helpful in cases like these.
"More often than not we work with the public to solve cases," Moran said. "The fact that a citizen in this case was able to develop information that aided police in making an arrest showcases the partnership that is often needed to effectively police a community."
Anderson, who's owned the pizzeria near the Josephine County Fairgrounds since early 2013, ran unopposed in the Nov. 8 election for one of two open seats representing Ward 4 on the Grants Pass City Council.
"I saw things in Grants Pass that I wanted to help with," Anderson said of his decision to run for the council. This is a similar attitude he used for why he engaged in private sleuthing to track down the burglar.
"I didn't figure the police would be able to get to it for a couple of days so I went out looking for him to help out," Anderson said. "I think most people would do the same if they had some time during their day."
Anderson said he didn't investigate with the intention of doing the job of police, just wanted to do his part to track the suspect down. He called police immediately after locating the suspect.
Anderson applauded police for responding quickly saying, "The police handled everything great. I appreciate their response and handling of the case."
He takes office in January.