Medford, Ore.– After a slew of burglaries, robberies and thefts occurred over the past few months, the latest crime statistics from the Medford Police Department highlight a gradual increase in certain crimes. While statistics have not been released for the months of October, November and December, the latest month of statistics from September show crime has appeared to be up more than last year.
The most recent case that has occurred in the last couple months has revolved around coffee stands in the Rogue Valley, which have seen a slight uptick in potentially dangerous encounters. The Black Rock Coffee stand on Biddle Road, was robbed less than a week ago by what witnesses described as a jogger who appeared in the early evening and demanded cash.
Black Rock Coffee regional manager, Forrest Pierson, said luckily none of the employees were harmed and that staff are encouraged to call police if they ever feel threatened.
“Especially with the small stands like that they’re just on the side of the road and it’s not a big building with a lot of people,” said Pierson. “You definitely have your people that walk up that, they may not be there to get coffee and they’re trying to get something free.”
Dutch Bros and Human Bean stands have also been victims of robbery recently. But Medford police say that it isn’t a significant rise in crime.
“I’m confident in saying we don’t have a huge rise in anything that’s got us going, ‘Holy smokes we got an absolute problem here that we need to address,'” said Lt. Justin Ivens. “We have crime and we try to do our best to battle it.”
Some of the rises that were seen in September involved burglary, robbery, assault and thefts. But a lot of factors play into the increase of those crimes, one of which is population size.
“We’re getting bigger and that’s what we want but along with that comes additional people, additional issues sometimes,” said Lt. Ivens. “As Medford continues to grow we’re gonna always see those numbers continue to rise.”
For residents such as Pierson, living in Medford has never felt scary but he thinks crime is on the rise.
“I’ve considered it always a safe place to be so like growing up we didn’t lock up our doors and the neighborhoods I’ve always been in, they’ve been fine,” he said. “Lately maybe there’s been a little more unwanted traffic in businesses.”
Medford police understand that and are Lt. Ivens says they’re preparing for the new year and always looking for new ideas.
“We’re always evaluating, always looking for ideas to try to deter and prevent people from doing what they do.”