At the Friday sentencing hearing of a serial burglar who ransacked three more houses after Central Point police caught him exiting a front door with loot last spring, more victims voiced frustration at the memories and security they lost.
Jayse Taylor Damon, 34, was sentenced to 90 months in prison Friday in Jackson County Circuit Court after pleading guilty to multiple burglary and aggravated theft counts, admitting he burglarized a Central Point home where police caught him red-handed last May, as well as three other homes in east Medford the following June.
In each case, the victims said Damon thoroughly went through their belongings in the middle of the day, emptying drawers, opening mail and destroying safes for anything of value he could carry.
Roger Schroeder of Central Point, Damon's first victim in the crime spree, thanked the neighbor who called police after spotting Damon climb through a window May 12. While Schroeder was at work and planning celebrations for his wife's birthday, police were waiting for Damon outside.
"He left through the front door as if he'd been invited," Schroeder said.
Schroeder said his wife, who lived in the house for 56 years, no longer feels safe there. He lamented the loss of "our basic automatic sense of security," before stopping, unable to continue his prepared statement.
Victim Sue Burchfiel said "real people" were affected by Damon's crimes.
"We're not just a means to the next fix," Burchfiel said.
Burchfiel, who works as a crime analyst for Medford police and is married to a retired Medford police sergeant, said they don't get any special treatment, though she said they initially blamed themselves for not taking more precautions. Today they have two security systems, including a home camera system they check remotely.
She said her jewelry was damaged as Damon apparently emptied her jewelry into a bag before throwing handguns on top. Among the guns was the duty weapon her husband used for much of his three decades on the force, which was never recovered.
"What officer wants to think about his duty weapon being used in a crime somewhere?" Burchfiel said, speaking for her husband.
She lamented the loss of baby bracelets and crafts her grown sons gave her when they were children.
"He knows how precious those macaroni necklaces are," Burchfiel said, referencing Damon's own 4-year-old son. "They had no value to him, and he threw them away."
Damon pledged that he'd spend the next 90 months addressing his heroin addiction. He spent 37 months in prison for a 2013 burglary and criminal mischief conviction, court records show.
Circuit Court Judge Tim Barnack imposed the sentence negotiated as part of a plea bargain. Damon pleaded guilty to four felony counts of first-degree burglary, two counts of aggravated first-degree theft and two counts of first-degree theft.
Barnack expressed anger that Damon had been through drug programs in prison before yet continued to offend, calling his behavior "selfish" and "disrespectful."
"When you push over one domino, it knocks everything down the line," Barnack said.
— Reach reporter Nick Morgan at 541-776-4471 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter at @MTCrimeBeat.