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Police arrest suspect in Lumpy's robbery

MEDFORD — Police on Friday arrested a man alleged to have robbed a Lumpy's tavern at knifepoint in November.

Medford police officers and detectives happened onto a lead pointing them to 21-year-old Michael McKenzie Baker while investigating a series of east Medford burglaries.

"One of the people we spoke to during that unrelated investigation gave us information about Baker," Medford police Sgt. Kevin Walruff said. "It is not uncommon to turn up evidence on additional crimes during an investigation."

Baker was arrested near the Rogue Valley Mall and charged with first-degree robbery, a Measure 11 crime that carries a mandatory minimum prison sentence of seven years and six months upon conviction.

Baker allegedly entered the Lumpy's at 801 S. Riverside on the evening of Nov. 21 and pulled a knife on the female clerk. The robber ran off with cash from the register and disappeared into nearby neighborhoods.

If accurate, the arrest closes the book on a series of unrelated robberies that hit Medford in late 2008. A suspect in a string of Purple Parrot robberies was arrested in November. In addition, suspects in a Liberty Bank branch robbery and a Jack In the Box heist late last year have been arrested, officials said.

"This helps get us caught up on our open robbery cases," Walruff said.

Jackson County Circuit Court records show Baker has seen his share of trouble in the past two years. In 2006, he was convicted on two counts of first-degree burglary, first-degree theft and second-degree burglary. In 2007, he was convicted on a charge of first-degree burglary. He remained lodged in the Jackson County Jail late Saturday on $1 million bail.

Reach reporter Chris Conrad at 776-4471; or e-mail cconrad@mailtribune.com.