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Man accused of $60,000 tool theft

Medford police Tuesday arrested a Trail man suspected of stealing more than $60,000 worth of tools from a Medford electrical contractor's warehouse where he worked.

Investigators say Dustin William Jackson, 24, took the tools from Valley Electrical Contractors and sold them to pawn shops around the valley before being arrested.

Jackson, of the 1000 block of D'Anconia Drive, was briefly lodged Tuesday in the Jackson County Jail on four counts of first-degree theft and three-counts of first-degree aggravated theft, jail records show.

He was released after posting $5,000 on his $50,000 bail.

Medford police Detective Sgt. Brent Mak said police became suspicious of Jackson in January after receiving reports of the items he was selling to local pawn shops, but when Jackson was contacted, he said the tools were coming from his family's business, Mak said.

"We monitor all the pawn activity in the valley and had seen his activity," Mak said. "We actually checked back in January, but we were given bad information to where it was coming from. He (Jackson) made it sound like it was all legitimate."

The city of Medford, like many other municipalities, requires pawnbrokers to file an electronic report of all property they take in and record the driver's license or other state-issued identification of the people who pawned the property.

Mak said police monitor pawn activity on a daily basis.

In 2013, Medford police had 85 cases of stolen property being sold at local pawn shops or secondhand dealers, according to department reports.

"It's the quickest way to convert property to cash," Mak said. "We have always monitored it ... we've really started watching it in the last few years."

A representative of Valley Electrical Contractors who declined to be named said Jackson worked as a warehouse manager at the business for nearly two years.

Mak said Jackson had allegedly been stealing from his employer since October 2013. Jackson allegedly took about 100 tools that ranged in value from $100 to $8,000 each before the business contacted police last month.

According to the Valley Electrical Contractors representative, "we did not have to fire him (Jackson), he actually quit on his own. ... It's unfortunate for both us and Dustin's family."

Reach reporter Sam Wheeler at 541-776-4471 or swheeler@mailtribune.com. Follow him at www.twitter.com/swhlr.

Man accused of $60,000 tool theft