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Car Lot Owner Speaks Out On Triple Theft

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MEDFORD, Ore. – Brad Murphy thought he had seen the last of Robert Johannessen the first time he was arrested on his property.

But just hours later, he’s out of jail, and making an unwelcomed visit.

“We were sitting right here eating watermelon and talking about what happened last night, and all of a sudden the door opens and there’s the gentleman that was here last night breaking and entering,” said Murphy, who manages Deals on Wheels used car lot.

Murphy reached for his gun and told Johannessen to get out. Then he called the police.

“It just… it blows me away,” said Murphy. “Somebody out not 24-hours and he’s back trying to break in and steal another car.”

Less than 24-hours earlier, Johannessen was caught trying to steal two cars from Murphy’s lot. It was his second attempt in as many days. After being arrested, he was let out of jail due to overcrowding – and came right back to Murphy’s lot to steal again.

Medford police say when these kinds of things happen, they have to treat it like any other repeat offense.

“It’s pretty commonly known that we deal with the same people over and over and over again,” said Police Sergeant Derek Parks.

In the case of the alleged car thief, they say they’ll put him behind bars as many times as they have to. But once he’s there, they have no say over how long he stays.

“Our primary focus is to investigate cases,” said Sgt. Parks. “And if it happens to be a suspect we arrested the day before and they’re out, we just reinvestigate.”

Murphy, who already had 24-hour security cameras, says he’s going to get even more security.

“We’re putting up sensors so if they come onto the property a bell will go off inside,” said Murphy.

And if Johannessen shows up again, he says he’ll defend himself if he has to.

“I hate to say this but he will catch a bullet,” said Murphy. “If he comes at my house again I will blow him away.”