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Man arrested after entering multiple east Medford homes

Medford police said video surveillance helped officers piece together the path of a man who broke into multiple occupied east Medford residences early Tuesday morning.

Ira Matthew Ponder, 22, was lodged Tuesday in the Jackson County Jail without bail, facing multiple charges of burglary, theft, criminal trespass, public indecency and a probation violation. Medford police arrested him near the 1100 block of Siskiyou Boulevard after an elderly woman reported he had stolen a watch and a cellphone from her home.

The woman, who called police at 8:38 a.m. Tuesday, told police she had let Ponder into her home to use her bathroom, but that he had then refused to leave. He took the reported items when he did leave, she said.

Medford police in a Facebook post said they were able to locate Ponder and take him into custody after a short pursuit on foot.

That home was far from the first one Ponder allegedly entered, however.

The first call came at 5:50 a.m., when a couple reported they had awakened to someone in their home in the 100 block of Vancouver Avenue. The person ran out the back door, taking a bottle of alcohol with him, they said.

A half hour later, a resident in the 1100 block of Siskiyou Boulevard reported prolonged knocking on the front door. The resident, with the help of her video surveillance system, said she saw the person masturbating while standing on her porch. He then kicked in the front door and entered the home, fleeing after catching site of the homeowner.

Officers responded to the area with a K-9 but did not locate the person. About two hours later, the call came from the elderly woman on the same street.

After Ponder’s arrest, two residents on Portland Avenue in Medford called police to report a suspect seen on their video surveillance systems around 4 a.m. He had entered their backyards and was looking into the windows, they reported.

Lt. Mike Budreau, public information officer for the Medford Police Department, said the case showed the value of video surveillance systems in piecing together information and notifying homeowners about what was going on outside their houses.

“I really think it’s probably one of the biggest technology changes we’ve seen in crime prevention in a long time,” he said.

Ponder was arrested Nov. 12 and charged with identity theft, supplying contraband and fraudulent use of a credit card.

Reach Mail Tribune reporter Kaylee Tornay at ktornay@rosebudmedia.com or 541-776-4497. Follow her on Twitter @ka_tornay.

Ira Ponder