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Police nab suspects in airport laptop theft

A man and woman suspected of stealing a $2,000 laptop off the Medford airport baggage carousel last week were arrested Thursday morning in downtown Medford, police said.

Kevin Eric Miers, 26, a transient, and Teresa Louise Gerlach, 43, of the 600 block of Azalea Drive, Central Point, were arrested on first-degree theft charges after an off-duty police officer spotted them walking on South Riverside Avenue. He recognized the pair from surveillance photos, police said.

The officer called in the sighting, and Medford police made contact with the suspects. They were arrested without incident. Miers was being held in the Jackson County Jail without bail on first-degree theft charges and a probation violation. (

The actual charges have been corrected in the online version of this story.)

Gerlach was cited on a charge of first-degree theft and released.

Court records show Miers has been in trouble with the law before, specifically marijuana possession and tampering with drug records. Gerlach pleaded guilty to delivery of methamphetamine in 2007, records show.

The couple are romantically involved, police said.

The laptop theft occurred just before 1 p.m. Jan. 27 at the Medford airport. A man and woman were seen in surveillance footage swiping the laptop, packed in a box identifying the contents, from the luggage carousel after entering the airport for unknown reasons. The laptop had arrived before the man traveling with it. The computer belonged to his son, police said.

Medford police said they believe the crime was not planned but one of opportunity.

After the theft, the two suspects took a taxi to downtown Medford and skipped out on their fare, police said. They tried to sell the computer to two pawnshops, but both businesses refused the transaction, police said.

They later sold the computer at a residence on Crater Lake Avenue, according to police, who retrieved the laptop and returned it to the owner today.

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