Two Arrested In Hemp Drying Facility Burglary Attempt

Oregon law enforcement arrested two suspects in an attempted burglary of a hemp drying facility during the weekend.

At approximately 9:30 a.m. on Sunday, April 25, Officers with the Grants Pass Department of Public Safety (GPDPS) responded to a call of a burglary in progress at a facility on NE Spalding Avenue.

According to GPDPS, victims reported that two males had entered the facility and were attempting to steal items valued at over $20,000.

Thwarted Thieves

Upon being confronted, the suspects drove their vehicle at one of the victims in an attempt to escape with the stolen items.

Both suspects then exited the vehicle, attempting to escape on foot.

The passenger escaped the building while the driver ran to another side of the facility and attempted to hide under hemp trimmings.

When GPDPS officers arrived at the scene, they locked down the facility while additional units searched the area with assistance from the Josephine County Sheriff’s Department.

Inside the facility where the driver was, officers gave numerous commands for the suspect to surrender, but he did not comply.

Officers called for a K-9 unit as the suspect remained hidden, not knowing whether he was armed.

Following additional commands to the suspect and a brief search, K-9 Brock located and apprehended the suspect, identified as 59-year-old Jeffrey Charles Waegner.

The suspect was taken into custody before being given medical treatment and booked into the Josephine County jail.

Waegner faces charges of aggravated theft, burglary, robbery, reckless driving, interfering with police, and resisting arrest.

While officers searched for the second suspect, alert citizens at Edgewater Christian Fellowship reported that a suspect matching the description had entered their church.

After contacting the suspect, GPDPS officers determined that they were not involved in the burglary at the drying facility.

The second suspect was soon taken into custody after being found walking on Foothill Blvd near Lawless Lane.

The suspect, identified as 41-year-old Michael James Ellis, was taken to the Josephine County Jail and lodged on a parole violation.

According to GPDPS, additional charges against Ellis have been referred to the Josephine County District Attorney’s Office.