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Robbers add to their heist list

Police suspect stickup artists have held up 10 area businesses, including the Trophy Club in Medford Thursday morning

Two guys walk into a bar wearing masks and carrying handguns. They demand cash from the bartender and disappear into the night after taking the loot.

Medford police have heard this one before ' and they don't find it funny.

Investigators suspect two masked bandits who robbed a Medford tavern early Thursday are the same men responsible for a series of holdups at area businesses earlier this year.

The robbers sought in connection with the 2:20 a.m. heist at the Trophy Club in the 800 block of South Central Avenue are believed to have committed similar crimes at two other Medford bars, five Purple Parrot stores and banks in Medford and in Dorris, Calif., police said.

It's starting to get frustrating, Medford police Sgt. Randy Sparacino said of the robberies, which have so far yielded no arrests.

— In the latest heist, two men dressed in long-sleeve shirts and black ski masks burst into the Trophy Club just before closing time. Both robbers brandished handguns, ordered a few customers to the floor and demanded cash from a female bartender, Sparacino said. The suspects ran west from the tavern after taking an undisclosed amount of money.

Sparacino said investigators believe the pair left the area in a vehicle parked a few blocks from the bar. A police search of the area turned up no sign of the suspects.

One of the Trophy Club robbers is described as standing between 6 feet and 6 feet 2 inches tall with a stocky build. He wore a dark jacket. The second suspect stands between 5 feet 8 and 5 feet 10 inches tall with a slim build. Witnesses told police he wore a dark, flannel shirt.

It sounds like the same guys we've been looking for, said Medford police Lt. Tim George.

Sparacino agreed.

Heavy clothes, gloves, masks and handguns ' the (modes of operation) match up, he said.

Police say the Trophy Club robbery was the first time in about two months that the masked men struck in Medford. The last incident was June 20, when two bandits with handguns held up a Bank of America on West Main Street.

On July 14, PremierWest Bank in Dorris, Calif. was robbed by two men with descriptions matching those of the Medford suspects. Police developed sketches of the robbers after witnesses reported seeing the men removing their masks before climbing into a white sedan with a metal chain-style license plate frame.

Before the bank robberies, police investigated a string of unsolved heists at five Purple Parrot stores in Medford and Grants Pass, along with another at the Time Out Sports Bar on Stewart Avenue in Medford. The Pit Stop Tavern on West McAndrews Road in Medford was hit by masked intruders in April and again in June.

In each case, either one or two white males in their 20s robbed businesses while wearing ski masks, long-sleeve shirts and gloves, police said.

Anyone with information about the robbers' identities or whereabouts is asked to phone Medford police at 770-4783.

Reach reporter Jack Moran at 776-4459, or e-mail Robbers add to their heist list "jmoran@mailtribune.com.