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Suspect in Idaho bank theft caught in Medford

MEDFORD — Two Medford detectives and an off-duty officer chased down and captured a suspected Idaho bank robber Friday afternoon on South Riverside Avenue.

Medford police found a car belonging to Christopher Darr abandoned in the Food 4 Less parking lot Friday morning.

Darr is a suspect in the armed robbery Tuesday of Valley Community Credit Union in Nampa, Idaho. Another suspect in the robbery, Wendi A. Wood, was arrested in Lakeview on Thursday.

Officers monitored the car hoping to catch Darr if he returned to it. Meanwhile, detectives and additional officers took to the streets searching for Darr.

"We called out as many people as possible to pound the pavement," Medford police Lt. Tim Doney said. "You never want a bank robber loose in your town, because if they do it once, there's a chance they could do it again."

A short time later, detectives Bill Ford and Justin Ivens were patrolling downtown when they spotted Darr walking with another man along Main Street.

As they approached, Darr fled on foot and led them on a brief chase that stretched to South Riverside Avenue.

Off-duty Medford Officer R.J. Josephson was walking downtown when he saw the detectives hot on Darr's heels.

Josephson joined the pursuit and tackled Darr on Riverside Avenue.

"This shows that you're a cop 24 hours a day, 7 days a week," Doney said. "Everyone involved did a good job getting this guy into custody."

Darr was taken to the Medford Police Department for questioning. He was lodged in the Jackson County Jail on a bank robbery warrant. He was held late Friday without bail.

Nampa officers should be en route to Medford within the next few days to haul Darr back to Idaho to face charges.

Doney said Darr could face additional charges for eluding local police, but that would be determined later.

The man walking with Darr was not charged with a crime. Apparently, he met Darr just minutes before the chase near the downtown bus stop.

It was not clear whether Darr was attempting flee the area on a bus after abandoning his car at the Food 4 Less.

"There's still some investigating to be done in this case," Doney said. "The good news is we have him in custody."

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