Medford bank robbery suspect admits guilt

Medford, Ore.- A man accused of robbing a Medford bank, then stabbing a driver and carjacking his car, has pleaded guilty.

John Eric Young, 40, changed his plea in a Jackson County courtroom Tuesday. Young has been in jail since his arrest in November.

According to police, Young entered the Chase Bank on Crater Lake Avenue about 3:45 on the afternoon of Thursday, November 13. Police say Young, armed with a screwdriver, confronted a customer and demanded his car keys and money, while simultaneously demanding cash from the teller.

“The suspect was very dramatic he actually slashes the victim in the bank with a screwdriver,” said Medford Police Lt. Kerry Curtis said.

The customer tried to grab Young and keep him from leaving the bank, but police say the suspect was able to take off with an undisclosed amount of cash.

After leaving the bank, police say Young tried to steal the customer’s car, but wasn’t able to get into it. That’s when they say Young ran to the First Baptist Church parking lot, where he broke into a Ford F-150 that was parked in front of the church. Police say the owner of the Ford F-150, a church employee, saw Young break into the truck and ran up to him. Young, who police say had stolen a knife from that employee’s truck, demanded the keys from the employee, who refused to hand them over.

As the confrontation was happening, Richard Richardson arrived at the church in his SUV. According to investigators, Young jumped into Robertson’s SUV through the passenger side door, then used the knife he’d stolen to threaten Robertson and demand his vehicle.

“He actually stabs the victim in the arm,” Curtis said.

Robertson was able to get out of his SUV before Young allegedly took off, hitting another person before leaving the parking lot. That person suffered minor injuries.

At about 4:45 p.m., police say someone reported a vehicle matching the description of the stolen SUV at the Circle K at S. Riverside and Barnett Rd.

“We recovered the vehicle but it was unoccupied,” Curtis said.

Then, about three hours later, Jackson County Sheriff’s Deputies were called to investigate a single vehicle accident on 2nd Avenue in Gold Hill. Shortly after arriving at the scene, they arrested Young for leaving the scene of a crash. Deputies were aware of the bank robbery and believed Young matched the description of the suspect. He was later charged with that crime as well.

“They recognize their hit-and-run accident suspect in Gold Hill as possibly being our bank robbery suspect,” Curtis said.

All the people injured in the case recovered. Today Young was sentenced to 24 years and 10 months in prison.

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