Josephine County Fugitive Sentenced

GRANTS PASS, Ore. — One of Josephine County’s most wanted fugitives will serve time in prison for his crimes. The Grants Pass Department of Public Safety says he is responsible for a crime spree across county and city lines. One incident dates far back as a decade ago.

Police say 39 year-old Jayson Sauer stole items from inside commercial buildings like the Grange Co-Op, Armadillo Mining Company and automotive stores. They believe he’s also responsible for home burglaries. Last October, detectives tracked him down at a neighborhood on Fruitdale Drive in Grants Pass. He tried to escape by running through an irrigation ditch. A detective says the police department gave the district attorney’s office piles of cases where Sauer was a suspect in hopes of keeping him in prison longer when sentencing came up.

“He may have been a suspect. However, it may have been difficult to prove that in fact he did commit that. The D.A.’s office has to prove beyond a reasonable doubt or know that they have a reasonable chance of winning in trial and that may have not been in the case. You know we put a lot of work into it, he’ll be gone for 10 years,” said Sgt. Dan Evans.

A judge ended up sentencing Sauer to 10 years on theft charges. It’s the second time he will be in prison. A decade ago, Sauer stole a pick-up truck with a 2 year-old inside, which triggered Josephine County’s first amber alert. He told police he didn’t know the girl was in the car. Sauer was sentenced to eight years in prison back then.

Detectives are still sorting through all of the stolen property they seized from Sauer. They say he is from the Grants pass area. When he is eventually released, detectives believe he will most likely come back.