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Two men arrested in thefts of 25 car batteries

Medford police arrested two men Tuesday on charges they stole scrap metal and batteries from numerous vehicles just before Thanksgiving.

Joe Lloyd Brotton, 36, and Travis Tritt, 30, of the 200 block of Chestnut Avenue, Medford, were arrested following a tip they allegedly sold about 25 car batteries to recycling businesses in town. Police believe the two men stole car batteries from four Medford businesses, along with additional batteries and scrap metal from a White City property, on Nov. 21.

Brotton and Tritt have not been connected to all of a recent string of battery thefts, so the investigation is still continuing, according to a news release.

The two have been charged with first-degree theft, two counts of first-degree theft by receiving and three counts of third-degree theft.

Both men were cited and released, Medford police Lt. Bob Hansen said.

Hansen said the number of vehicle battery thefts has increased by 25 percent over the past year. The batteries were taken from cars, RVs, travel trailers and construction equipment before being sold to battery wholesale operations for $9 each.

Police advised residents and businesses to make sure vehicle hoods are securely latched and doors are locked to prevent thieves from getting in and popping the hood. If the hood does not lock, motorists should park under a light or in a secure garage.

Police also recommended RV owners remove batteries from the vehicle when not in use. Writing in indelible ink on the battery so it can be identified easily also was suggested.

Reach reporter Ryan Pfeil at 541-776-4468 or by email at rpfeil@mailtribune.com.