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Shady Cove stores robbed by 'ghoul'

SHADY COVE — A burglar dressed in a black ghoul costume broke into two Shady Cove businesses and stole more than $16,000 in jewelry, antique weapons and other items last month, the Jackson County Sheriff's Department said in a news release.

Investigators said the costumed burglar broke into two separate businesses July 27 and 28 and was seen in a surveillance video. The suspect stayed in the store several minutes gathering up merchandise.

At Bargains on the Rogue, 22077 Highway 62, the suspect broke in through the back door and stole more than $10,000 in jewelry, including 100 rings, 50 necklaces, 50 gold watches, 30 bracelets and 60 pairs of earrings, police said.

Owner Donna Torres said she discovered the burglary when she came to work the next day.

Toward the end of the spree, the suspect covered up the surveillance cameras.

"It was basically everything in the front glass display," Torres said, adding she's not sure how the burglar gained entry because the back door is thick and has three locks.

The next night, the burglar struck again, breaking in through the front door at Minimall, 21980 Highway 62, and stole more than $6,000 in merchandise, including an antique sword, knives and other miscellaneous items, including fishing tackle, police said.

Owner Paul Osusky said several of the items were from his personal collection and weren't for sale.

"They were all sentimental," he said, adding he hopes to move forward from the incident and not dwell on it.

For both stores, it's the first time something like this has happened.

The burglar wore a black robe with a hood and a covering over the face that was half white and half black. The gender of the thief is not yet confirmed because of the full costume.

"They're referring to (the burglar) as a 'him,' " said sheriff's department spokeswoman Andrea Carlson.

The sheriff's department and Crime Stoppers of Southern Oregon are offering a reward of up to $1,000 for any information leading to an arrest. The Jackson County Sheriff's Office Tip Line is at 541-774-8333. Crime Stoppers is at 1-800-850-0580. Callers can remain anonymous.

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