2 charged with stealing medical pot
A tip from an alert neighbor who called police after spotting a masked man climb over a fence led to the arrest of two men suspected of plotting to steal medical marijuana.
Medford police got the call at 10:50 a.m. Tuesday, police said. When officers responded to the 1500 block of Dakota Avenue, the masked man was gone. So was a mature marijuana plant being grown in the neighboring yard under a medical marijuana permit. "It was a rather large plant that we believe stood between 6 and 8 feet tall," Hansen said. "It would have yielded plenty of marijuana for two people. And they could have sold it to make money."
Officers followed a trail of marijuana debris to a vehicle parked nearby. They found Jacob Randall Granger, 20, of Grants Pass, hiding in a friend's house next door to the marijuana-growing location.
He was arrested on charges of third-degree theft, trespass and possession of more than an ounce of marijuana.
The possession charge stems from the stolen plant, Hansen said.
"The plant had well over an ounce of marijuana on it," Hansen said.
His friend, Austin Cole Pratt, 18, of Medford, was identified as an accomplice and arrested on charges of third-degree theft and hindering prosecution.
"We charged him with hindering prosecution because he tried to cover for his co-conspirator," Hansen said. "He tried to tell us that he didn't know whose car was parked in his driveway, when it was his friend's."
Hansen said the medical marijuana grower had all the necessary paperwork to own the plant.
Medford Police Chief Tim George said the department takes reports of stolen marijuana from time to time, mostly during harvest season.
"In the fall the plants reach maximum height and maximum fruit, so it is tempting for someone to jump a fence to steal someone's product," George said.
George said medical marijuana growers in the city should try to keep their plants reasonably hidden to deter theft.
Stolen medical marijuana plants are returned to the owner, George said.
"We treat medical marijuana like any other stolen property," Hansen added. "We will investigate it and work to make an arrest."
Reach reporter Chris Conrad at 541-776-4471 or email email@example.com.