GRANTS PASS, Ore– The Grants Pass Department of Public Safety stated on Sunday that they have arrested two suspects that have been linked to the burglary of a hemp drying facility.
According to police, around 9:30 Sunday morning, officers from the Grants Pass Department of Public Safety responded to 2152 NE Spalding Avenue for a reported burglary in progress.
Police say that the victims reported two males had entered the hemp drying facility and were taking items, valued at over $20,000.
The victims say that when confronted the suspects, the pair drove their vehicle at the victim in an effort to escape with the stolen property. Police say that the suspects then exited the vehicle and fled on foot. The passenger of the vehicle was able to escape the building while the driver of the vehicle ran to the other side of the facility and concealed himself under hemp trimmings.
GPDPS says that when officers arrived at the scene that they locked down the facility. Additional units continued to search the area with the assistance of the Josephine County Sheriff’s Department.
Police say that officers at the facility gave numerous commands into the area of the building the suspect was last seen, ordering him to surrender, but he refused to comply.
Because the suspect remained concealed and police not knowing if he possessed a weapon or was lying in wait for officers, a K-9 unit was called to the scene.
Police say after a brief search, the suspect was located and apprehended by K-9 Brock. The suspect is now custody and has been identified as 59-year-old Jeffrey Charles Waegner. Waegner was provided medical treatment prior to being lodged at the Josephine County Jail on the following charges: Aggravated Theft, burglary, robbery, reckless driving, interfering with police and resisting arrest.
According to GPDPS, while Officers were searching for the second suspect, GPDPS received a call from alert citizens at Edgewater Christian Fellowship indicating a subject matching the description of the outstanding male had entered their facility. Officers contacted the subject at the church who was determined to not be involved.
Police say that the second suspect was soon located walking on Foothill Blvd near Lawless Lane and taken into custody. He has been identified as 41-year-old Michael James Ellis.
Ellis has been transported to the Josephine County Jail where he was lodged on a parole violation. Additional charges are being referred to the Josephine County District Attorney’s Office against Ellis.
Anyone with information regarding this case is asked to contact Officer Ken Frownfelter at 541-450-6260