Hoodie helps in pot robbery case
Owing to the efforts of two police departments nearly 2,000 miles apart, a third Texas man accused of participating in a Central Point home-invasion marijuana robbery is back in Jackson County.
Kiandre Jajuan Woodard, 22, of Fort Worth, Texas, appeared Friday in Jackson County Circuit Court on Measure 11 robbery charges accusing him of being one of three men who pulled guns on a marijuana seller in the 800 block of Greenleaf Lane last February. They allegedly tied the victim to a chair, beat him and loaded pounds of marijuana into the trunk of a Honda Civic with Texas plates.
Two other Texas men, Ashton Shamar Garrett and Erick Yair Cervantes-Melinero, have both been sentenced to prison. They were captured Feb. 13, 2017, after a multi-agency police chase through east Medford ended when they struck another motorist on East Barnett Road and Ellendale Drive.
According to Central Point police Detective Josh Abbott, it took a collaborative effort between Central Point and Fort Worth police to find Woodard, but it started with a couple of key clues.
Hours before the robbery, Woodard was allegedly recorded on store surveillance video at a Central Point NAPA Auto Parts store with the two other men, and Abbott said a distinctive hoodie from a Fort Worth-area gym was a helpful clue.
Checking with the gym didn’t immediately get them a suspect, because Woodard wasn’t a gym member, but the clue helped focus their search on the Fort Worth area, where Garrett and Cervantes-Melinero were also from.
An anonymous Crimestoppers tip gave police a name to work with, and Fort Worth police handed officers bulletins about the case and stills from the Oregon surveillance video.
Jackson County court records show that a warrant for Woodard’s arrest in the crime was issued July 3. He was arrested in Texas after a traffic stop Oct. 21, according to Abbott.
He was held in Texas on other charges before he was brought to the Jackson County Jail, where he’s being held on $1 million bail.
Abbott praised how seriously Fort Worth police took a robbery case that happened several states away.
“They didn’t just brush it off like it wasn’t a big deal,” Abbott said.
Although Abbott said “it feels really good to have some closure in the case,” some loose ends remain.
Detectives are still looking into where Woodard was when police nabbed Garrett and Cervantes-Melinero in east Medford, they don’t yet know how Woodard made it backto Texas, and they don’t know whether there are more suspects in the robbery, according to Abbott
Abbott said Woodard’s capture sends a strong message to criminals considering similar robberies.
“We’re still going to find you, we’re still going to work hard to get you back,” Abbott said.
Woodard faces felony counts of first- and second-degree robbery, first-degree burglary, third-degree assault, unlawful use of a weapon, coercion and unauthorized use of a motor vehicle. First-degree robbery carries a mandatory-minimum sentence of 7 years, 6 months, and second-degree robbery carries a mandatory-minimum sentence of 5 years and 10 months in prison.