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Charges filed in Medford purse-snatching case

Medford police have tracked down a man and woman suspected of stealing a 76-year-old woman's purse from Fred Meyer last weekend.

Investigators earlier this week released a surveillance photo of a woman who allegedly grabbed a shopper's purse out of her cart Saturday, then ran from the store and jumped into a white Ford Ranger pickup.

A tip Thursday led them to a home in the 1400 block of Dixie Lane in Medford. There officers found the pickup and a man suspected of being the driver of the getaway vehicle.

The man, Garret Russell Lunsford, 22, admitted to police that he was involved in the Saturday purse-snatching, and told officers where they could find the woman, Medford police Lt. Mike Budreau said.

"He was driving and received some of the proceeds from that theft," Budreau said.

Lunsford was cited on a charge of first-degree theft.

Amanda Lynn Schram, 23, was found at her mother's house in the 800 block of Posse Lane, Budreau said. Schram was cited on a charge of first-degree theft and was released because she cooperated with investigators, he said.

Schram told police she would take them to where she tossed the purse at a convenience store in Central Point. Working with her, officers found a purse in the garbage can in the front of the store, but it was not the purse snatched from the Fred Meyer shopper.

Instead, Schram identified it as another purse she had stolen from a customer shopping at Walmart on Center Drive the same day as the purse-snatching at Fred Meyer, police said.

"The money was gone," said Budreau, adding that investigators suspect the pair were stealing to help pay for their heroin addiction.

The case is under investigation, and police have seized the white pickup belonging to Lunsford in an effort to locate the other purse, which reportedly had U.S. and foreign currency inside.

Reach Mandy Valencia at 541-776-4486 or by email at avalencia@mailtribune.com.