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Surveillance photograph helps identify bank robbery suspect

A witness tip off surveillance pictures has helped police capture a Talent man in connection with a Friday afternoon bank robbery in Medford.

The photographs published Monday morning led Medford police to identify and arrest Quelma Gerald Morey, 56, of Talent, whom police described as an armed career criminal with past burglary and robbery convictions.

Morey was identified by a witness as the masked suspect who entered the Umpqua Bank branch on 10th Street on Friday afternoon and told a teller he was armed with a handgun, then fled with an undisclosed amount of cash, police said.

The robber was last seen in a nearby motel parking lot where he had stashed a blue mountain bike, police said. Witnesses last saw him riding south on Riverside Avenue, police said.

Surveillance photos from Friday at other businesses showed what police believed to be the suspect. One of the photographs showed a man with a salt-and-pepper moustache and glasses and wearing a tan fishing hat, and the second was of the man riding what appeared to be a women's style mountain bike.

The bank robber wore a similar hat and had a similar build, but he wore a white bandana that covered most of his face, police said.

Police circulated the photographs among businesses in the bank's neighborhood, and one of the owners identified Morey, police said.

"He actually knew him by name," Medford police Lt. Mike Budreau said. "So we were off to the races at that point."

Morey was on parole for a past burglary conviction, and investigators immediately went to his residence in the 400 block of Arnos Road in Talent, Budreau said. Morey was not present but they spied his bicycle, he said.

Less than 45 minutes later, investigators then discovered Morey on the 1200 block of South Riverside Avenue and interviewed him before arresting him on charges of first-degree theft and second-degree robbery.

Budreau said more than $3,000 was taken in the bank robbery, and investigators were able to recover about one-third.

Morey told police that he lost the money gambling, but was not specific, Budreau said.

"We actually see gambling as the motive for a lot of thefts and robberies," Budreau said.

Morey was lodged Monday at the Jackson County Jail on more than $1 million bail.

Reach reporter Mark Freeman at 541-776-4470, or email at mfreeman@mailtribune.com.