Burglary Turns Into Death Investigation


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GRANTS PASS, Ore. — Behind the caution tape outside at Innovative Woodworx LLC, Oregon State Police are gathering evidence on how an attempted burglary turned into a death investigation.

“It was a burglary in progress that got interrupted. At some point before officers could respond, the suspect that was inside had some sort of medical condition and stopped breathing,” Oregon State Police Sgt. Tyler Lee.

Tuesday morning, an employee and his father noticed signs of forced entry into the business. The two went into the building and saw a suspect in the middle of a burglary. The men were involved in a brief scuffle with the suspect when the man stopped breathing.

“I don’t know if they found him in that condition, but he was inside when they got here and then at some point he stopped breathing,” said Sgt. Lee.

It was then another call came into dispatch from the employee saying medical attention was needed.

“Two employees who had come to the business to work started C.P.R.” said Sgt. Lee.

Neighbors this morning said they also noticed something unusual in their typically quite part of town.

“They went to open the gate and there was one ski mask sitting right there and they actually picked it up and took it down to O.S.P. this morning,” said Ted Stephenson who lives nearby.

It’s unknown if there is any link between the mask and the attempted burglary, and Stephenson said he’s never had any problems.

“I haven’t had any problems with my shop, but I don’t know if it was one of those deals where they were looking at my shop last night before they went down next door or what,” said Stephenson.

Oregon State Police identified the suspect as Jasen Robert Lewis, they say he is a 33 year-old Grants Pass-area man, who had outstanding arrest warrants in Josephine County, including a felony Failure to Appear on Dangerous Drug charges on Jan. 13, 2014. An autopsy is scheduled to help confirm cause and manner of death.