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K-9 and aerial drone help catch suspected thief

A police dog and an aerial drone helped catch a man Monday suspected of stealing motorcycles.

With the help of the K-9’s nose on the ground and the drone’s eye in the sky, police were able to find Justin William Sager, 28, in a large blackberry thicket in a vacant field, according to the Grants Pass Department of Public Safety.

The incident occurred when officers attempted to stop a tan Toyota pickup on Northeast D Street near Northeast Beacon Drive in Grants Pass.

The pickup, which police said was known to be driven by Sager, was believed to have been involved in the theft of motorcycles and other property in northeast Grants Pass.

Police said the pickup turned north on Beacon Drive and fled at a high rate of speed, running stop signs and going into oncoming traffic. The primary officers terminated the pursuit because of the risk to the public.

Other officers were able to locate the pickup as it turned onto a dead-end street on Lynda Lane off Northeast Hillside Avenue and crashed into a parked car. The driver fled on foot into a vacant field, police said.

Several officers from multiple agencies established a perimeter around the area to keep the suspect from escaping, police said.

Using the drone and a police dog, members of the Grants Pass police, Josephine County Sheriff’s Office and Oregon State Police found Sager in the blackberry thicket. He was arrested without further incident, police said.

Sager was lodged in the Josephine County Jail on four counts of unauthorized use of a vehicle plus single charges of second-degree theft, attempting to elude police on foot, attempting to elude police in a vehicle, reckless driving and second-degree criminal mischief.

In 2019, Sager was convicted of unlawful entry into a motor vehicle in Curry County and methamphetamine possession in Josephine County. He had a Cave Junction address at that time, according to court records.

Anyone with more information about the events surrounding the Monday incident should call the Grants Pass Department of Public Safety at 541-450-6260 regarding case 20-21449.

Reach Mail Tribune reporter Vickie Aldous at 541-776-4486 or valdous@rosebudmedia.com. Follow her on Twitter @VickieAldous.

Justin William Sager faces felony theft charges following arrest made via drone. Josephine County Jail photo.