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Soda machine vandalism suspect jailed

A man suspected of smashing a dozen soda vending machines last week in an effort to snatch money from inside was arrested over the weekend and appeared Tuesday in Jackson County Circuit Court.

Gregory Michael Moore, 28, of San Jose, Calif., was arraigned on three counts of second-degree criminal mischief and charges of second- and third-degree theft for the vandalism and theft spree over several nights early last week in Medford. The charges reflect the various locations where he targeted multiple machines, Medford police Detective Sgt. Mike Budreau said.

Moore also was charged with giving false information to police because officers determined he initially lied about his name when police first contacted him on Friday, Budreau said.

Moore attracted police attention Friday night when he was present at a fight between several other men, all whom were believed to be homeless in Medford, Budreau said.

When officers investigating that assault interviewed Moore, they found that he had several arrest warrants issued out of California and took him into custody. He was lodged in Jackson County Jail.

During the arrest, officers noticed that his clothing matched that worn by the vending-machine vandal seen on surveillance tape. They also recovered a sledgehammer possibly used in those break-ins, Budreau said.

A detective worked over the weekend, talking to Moore and piecing together details, Budreau said. The investigation linked Moore to the 11 damaged vending machines in Medford and one in Ashland. The damage totalled more than $10,000, police estimated.

Police initially filed four first-degree criminal mischief charges and one second-degree theft charge Monday after consulting with the Jackson County District Attorney's Office, but prosecutors revised the charges that were filed in court.

Moore remained in jail Tuesday without bail.

Reach reporter Anita Burke at 776-4485, or e-mail aburke@mailtribune.com.

Soda machine vandalism suspect jailed