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One arrested, one sought, in east Medford burglary

One man is now in custody and police are seeking his alleged accomplice in a November burglary of an east Medford house where more than $30,000 in items, including two vehicles, were stolen.

Adrian Paul Norton, 29, of Medford, was arrested Monday on burglary, aggravated theft and other charges stemming from the break-in at the residence on the 2600 block of Hillcrest Road where the stolen items included an 80-inch television and a laptop along with the vehicles, police said.

Medford police are still looking for Timothy James "T.J." Sheeler in connection with the case. Sheeler, 33, of Medford, is also wanted on a warrant for violating the conditions of his parole on a previous burglary charge, police said.

The burglary and thefts were discovered Nov. 1 when a man looking after a family member's home discovered a screen on one of the home's rear windows had been pried off, police said. Once inside, the suspects swiped keys to the family's Kia Sedona and Saturn Astra cars, which were both later recovered, police said.

They also stole an 80-inch television, a safe with personal effects, jewelry and a laptop computer, probably loading the items into the cars they took, investigators said at the time.

The estimated value for all stolen property is close to $30,000, police said.

The case has been under investigation ever since, with detectives quickly focusing their attention on Thorton and Sheeler, police said.

"They were on our radar as possible suspects but we didn't have enough to charge them until recently," Medford police Lt. Mike Budreau said.

Thorton was picked up on New Year's Day on an outstanding warrant charging him with attempt to elude a police officer and driving while suspended, and he appeared in Jackson County Circuit Court for an initial arraignment on those charges Friday, court records show.

Medford police detectives on Monday interviewed Thorton about the burglary, then added one count of first-degree burglary and aggravated first-degree theft as well as two counts each of first-degree theft and unauthorized use of a motor vehicle, Budreau said.

Thornton has previous identity theft and drug convictions in Jackson County, while Sheeler also sports past burglary, drug and other convictions, court records show.

Anyone with information on Sheeler's whereabouts was urged to telephone 541-770-4783.

Reach reporter Mark Freeman at 541-776-4470 or mfreeman@mailtribune.com. Follow him at www.twitter.com/MTwriterFreeman.