MEDFORD, Ore. — On Wednesday, Medford Police arrested a man they say is a suspect in multiple vehicle thefts.
Starting in January 2014, Medford Police noticed a spike in the number of vehicles stolen off of car lots in Medford. Working with other police and sheriff departments, investigators found cases of vehicle theft that were similar in nature. In these cases, many of the vehicles were newer and were often recovered in Josephine County.
Medford Police found similar cases after collaborating with Oregon State Police, Grants Pass Department of Public Safety, Josephine County Sheriffs, Douglas County Sheriffs and Lane County Sheriffs.
Police eventually identified Leroy Brabec as the main suspect in the vehicle thefts. Medford Police also identify three other individuals as being involved. Medford Police say they believe Brabec, who they say has experience working with metal, was able to use a tool to break into the lock boxes on the vehicle’s window, accessing the key to the vehicle.
Medford Police believe Brabec was then using the stolen vehicles as transportation, and in some cases given to his friends. Brabec was believed by police to be using methamphetamine as well.
On Wednesday, police finally arrested Brabec after receiving a tip that he was in Grants Pass. Police say Brabec attempted to run but was apprehended with the assistance of a police K9. Barbec was lodged in the Jackson County Jail on six counts of Unauthorized Use of a Motor Vehicle, which are for the cases from Jackson County.
Medford Police say other counties may also indict Brabec on similar charges in their jurisdiction. These cases remain under investigation.