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Grants Pass robbery suspect jailed on numerous charges

A man who police say robbed a senior citizen in a bank parking lot before breaking into at least five vehicles and two homes in the Grants Pass area earlier this month was booked into the Josephine County Jail on numerous charges Wednesday.

Washington state resident Michael Gemar-Rickards, 39, is held on felony charges of third-degree robbery, unauthorized use of a motor vehicle, first-degree theft and two counts of first-degree burglary, according to the jail website.

He is also held on misdemeanor charges of second-degree burglary, third-degree theft, harassment, five counts of second-degree theft, and five counts of unauthorized entry into a motor vehicle. His bail was set at $270,000, according to jail records.

The search for Gemar-Rickards started at 9 a.m. Feb. 2 when the Grants Pass Department of Public Safety responded to the Umpqua Bank branch at 117 NE “F” St., according to a news release. Police allege Gemar-Rickards pushed a 73-year-old man and stole money from his hand. The man was not injured.

Responding officers could not find Gemar-Rickards. Later that day, police responded to numerous reports of thefts from motor vehicles and burglaries on Scoville Road and NE Scenic Drive. Police tallied break-ins at two homes, an outbuilding and at least five vehicles, the suspect committing thefts at most of the locations. Police also determined the suspect tried to steal a vehicle from a property, but ditched it when it got stuck.

Surveillance video and other evidence led police to identify Gemar-Rickards as the suspect. Jackson County Sheriff’s Department deputies arrested Gemar-Rickards Monday in a separate vehicle theft and elude case that occurred in the 11000 block of Blackwell Road, according to court records. His next court appearance in that case is set for Feb. 23, records show.

Jackson County released Gemar-Rickards from custody Wednesday. Grants Pass police then arrested him and transported him to the Josephine County Jail.

Reach Mail Tribune web editor Ryan Pfeil at 541-776-4468 or rpfeil@rosebudmedia.com.

Michael Gemar-Rickards is held on felony charges of third-degree robbery, unauthorized use of a motor vehicle, first-degree theft and two counts of first-degree burglary accusing him in a string of Grants Pass crimes. Josephine County Jail booking photo.
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