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Call about suspicious activity in Talent leads to arrest

An early-morning call to Talent police resulted in the arrest of a man who allegedly was trying to break into a house in a 55-and-older community, police said.

Michael Jarrod Bakkela, 34, is being held without bail in the Jackson County Jail on charges of attempted burglary, possession of methamphetamine, second-degree trespass and criminal mischief, as well as a probation violation, jail records show.

Police suspect Bakkela cut a screen in an attempt to get inside the house but was thwarted when a woman inside called 911.

Talent police Chief Mike Moran said the call came in at 1:08 a.m. from Oak Valley, a 55-and-older community in Talent. Resident Lodi Bedford was sleeping when she was awakened by a noise that sounded like a suppressed cough coming from her backyard. When she looked outside, she saw a man standing at the door.

"It was a first in all of my 70-some years, actually, having to call 911 for something like this," Bedford said.

Police from Talent and Phoenix responded to Bedford's call.

"They were here very quickly, handled it very efficiently, and it was over and done with," Bedford said.

Moran said Bakkela kept changing his story when asked about what he was doing in the area.

"First of all, he pretended he wasn't really sure where he was, and then he pretended he was looking for his girlfriend," Moran said. "It just didn't make any sense at all."

Bakkela had no weapons on him.

Moran said he hopes more people will think to call the police if they notice suspicious activity, even if it turns out to be nothing.

He said many people call a day or so after they first notice something, making it more difficult to track suspects down.

"I really strongly encourage people to never feel bad about calling," Moran said. "Even if it turns out to be a raccoon or whatever."

Reach reporter Ryan Pfeil at 541-776-4468 or rpfeil@mailtribune.com.