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Police: Washington man arrested for Grants Pass crime spree

Police say that 39-year-old Michael Gemar-Rickards is responsible for a string of crimes that began with a robbery outside of Umpqua Bank on February 2.

Posted: Feb 17, 2021 12:53 PM
Updated: Feb 17, 2021 12:55 PM

GRANTS PASS, Ore. — The Grants Pass Department of Public Safety says that a man is now in custody who committed multiple crimes in the city beginning on February 2 with a robbery outside of Umpqua Bank.

Police responded to the Umpqua Bank at 117 NE F Street around 9 a.m. on February 2 after reports of an unarmed robbery. The investigation found that a 73-year-old man had been walking with money in his hand when a suspect approached, pushed the victim, and ran off with the money.

"Fortunately, the victim was not injured during this incident. Numerous officers responded to the scene but were unable to locate the suspect at that time," GPDPS said.

Later on the same morning, police received multiple reports of thefts and burglaries from homes and vehicles along Scoville Road and NE Scenic Drive. Officers responded to investigate, finding evidence of crimes at five different properties in the area.

"During the course of the investigation, it was determined the suspect unlawfully entered two residences, one outbuilding, and at least five vehicles, committing thefts at most locations," GPDPS said. "The suspect also stole a vehicle from one property, but abandoned it after getting it stuck."

When investigators reviewed security footage and other evidence recovered from the crime scenes, they realized that the robbery suspect was also responsible for the thefts and burglaries. The suspect was identified as 39-year-old Michael Gemar-Rickards of Washington.

On February 15, Gemar-Rickards was arrested by deputies with the Jackson County Sheriff's Office on unrelated charges. When Gemar-Rickards was released from JCSO custody on February 17, he was arrested by Grants Pass Police and transferred to the Josephine County Jail.

Gemar-Rickards now faces a laundry list of charges, including the following:

  • Robbery in the Third Degree
  • Harassment
  • Burglary in the First Degree (2 counts)
  • Burglary in the Second Degree
  • Unlawful Entry into a Motor Vehicle (5 counts)
  • Unauthorized Use of a Motor Vehicle
  • Theft in the First Degree
  • Theft in the Second Degree (5 counts)
  • Theft in the Third Degree

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