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Man charged in abduction of elderly woman

GRANTS PASS — A 31-year-old Merlin man is suspected of breaking into a 90-year-old woman's home and assaulting her before ransacking her home and forcing her to drive him around in her car Thursday, police reported.

The Grants Pass Department of Public Safety said in a news release that Craig Allen Cruz was lodged in the Josephine County Jail on charges of first-degree burglary, first-degree robbery, first-degree kidnapping, unauthorized use of a motor vehicle and fourth-degree assault. Cruz's bail was set at $50,000, jail records show.

Police allege Cruz broke into the woman's home, in the 800 block of SE Eighth Street, at just before 8 a.m. Thursday and threatened to hurt her if she did not comply with his demands. Cruz is suspected of ransacking the home, then forcing the woman to drive him in her car, though the reason is not known. The woman drove Cruz to the Grants Pass Walmart, where he abandoned her before driving to the north side of the parking lot and fleeing the area.

Police said the woman suffered minor injuries.