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Medford man gets 6 years for unarmed bank robbery

A man who robbed a Medford U.S. Bank branch last year will spend nearly six years in prison.

Raymond Leroy Laux Jr., 39, of the first block of Elm Street, Medford, pleaded guilty to a charge of second-degree robbery. In May last year, he presented a teller at the Court Street branch of U.S. Bank with a note demanding cash. Although Laux's note stated that he was armed with a gun, he displayed no weapon, and no one was injured.

Laux left the building on a black 10-speed mountain bike, police said. Investigators later recovered a hat ' hot pink with a black Adidas logo ' which flew from his head as he pedaled out of the bank's parking lot.

Witnesses reported seeing a man riding a bike around the bank and in the Rogue Valley Mall area several times that morning before the robbery, police said. Medford officers arrested Laux four days later after they stopped a vehicle in which he was a passenger. A Medford patrol officer recognized Laux by photos taken from the bank's surveillance video, said police Lt. Mike Moran.

Investigators recovered &

36;400 in stolen cash.

Jackson County Circuit Court Judge Ray White sentenced Laux Thursday to five years and 10 months in prison, the minimum term under Oregon's Measure 11 sentencing guidelines. Laux previously had been convicted on robbery charges outside of Jackson County, White noted.

White dismissed a count of first-degree theft according to Laux's plea negotiations with the District Attorney's Office. Laux was not required to repay the bank for the money he stole.

Laux's robbery of U.S. Bank was the first of two at the Court Street branch last year. In November, a suspect who remains at large told a teller that he was robbing the bank. He didn't show a weapon but demanded cash in &

36;100, &

36;50 and &

36;20 denominations, Moran said.

A white man with short dark hair, brown eyes and no facial hair, the suspect wore a baseball cap, black jeans and a hooded gray zip-up sweatshirt.

Medford police ask anyone with information on the case to contact the department's criminal investigation unit at 774-2230.

Reach reporter Sarah Lemon at 776-4487, or e-mail .