Jefferson County

Second Redmond jewel heist suspect caught

Merton Bean arrested after Portland foot, car chase

METOLIUS, Ore. - The second of two suspect in last week's armed robbery of a downtown Redmond jewelry store was captured early Monday in Portland after a car and foot chase.

Merton Gerald "Jerry" Bean, 43, was held in the Multnomah County Jail on several charges, including attempting to elude police by vehicle and on foot, furnishing false information to a police officer, reckless driving and third-degree escape. He also was held without bail on a parole violation charges.

Authorities had been looking for Bean since he apparently eluded a swarm of officers who descended on a home in Metolius last Wednesday, the day after two masked gunmen held up David Haffey Fine Jewelry.

Police said Bean and a fellow fugitive were staying at the Metolius home. The other man, Nathan Lee Danison, 34, was arrested in a traffic stop last Wednesday as he left the home. But Bean – considered armed and dangerous – escaped capture by police who surrounded the home for about 10 hours.

Lt. Nathan Garibay said police investigating Tuesday's robbery by two masked gunmen at David Haffey Fine Jewelry on SW Sixth Street in downtown Redmond learned Wednesday that two men who had been frequenting Redmond were at a residence at 465 SW Sixth St. in Metolius.

Working with Jefferson County sheriff's detectives, Redmond police confirmed the two men were staying at the Metolius home – and likely were armed and "would likely resist attempts to take them into custody," Garibay said.

Both men were wanted on outstanding felony arrest warrants and were "persons of interest" in pending Redmond criminal investigations, Garibay said.

Danison also was a suspect in a Saturday home invasion robbery in which a handgun reportedly was used, he added.

Shortly after 2 p.m. Wednesday, police stopped a car carrying three people as it left the Metolius home, and Danison was taken into custody without incident, Garibay said.

Garibay said police had "information that Bean was still in the residence," so the Central Oregon Emergency Response Team surrounded the home and began trying to find him. After several hours, a search warrant was executed and police entered the home, but Bean was not found.

Police remained on scene at the home for several hours, wrapping up their investigation.

Meanwhile, Danison was taken to the Deschutes County Jail in Bend, where he's being held without bail on a parole violation charge, also facing first-degree charges of robbery, theft, menacing and burglary, as well as felon in possession of a firearm and unlawful use of a firearm. He made his first court appearance Thursday afternoon.

Garibay said their investigation led to identification of Bean and Danison as the jewelry store robbery suspects.

The lieutenant warned that Bean "should be considered armed and dangerous. Anyone with information regarding Bean's whereabouts is urged to contact law enforcement immediately."

He was described as a 6-foot-2 and 175 pounds, with green eyes, brown hair and extensive tattoos.

The Metolius standoff left many people unable to get to their homes amid concerns the wanted man might be in the home.

Neighbors say the whole thing started around noon Wednesday, when many of them were asked to stay inside and avoid the house completely.

Police and sheriffs deputies from Deschutes, Crook and Jefferson counties descended on the small town south of Madras, along with the Central Oregon Emergency Response Team (CERT Team), the region's SWAT team. They closed 6th Avenue as they surrounded the house with armored cars.

"Two male subjects were tracked to the Metolius area," said Jefferson County Sheriff Jim Adkins. "Both persons have felony warrants, and they are known to be armed career criminals."

"The neighbors that we have contacted are staying in place and they are removed from the scene and are cooperating." said Adkins.

For people in the small community, Wednesday's events came as a surprise.

"I have never seen anything like this happen in the city of Metolius," said Hilda Stephens a nearby neighbor. "This is just uncommon."

Stephens said she has lived in Metolius for the past 56 years, and this is not what she wants to see in her community.

"Something like this is just a shock to the community and to the people around here," said Stephens.

As neighbors watched from a park just blocks away, a long cord ran down 6th Avenue past several barricades. It's a line of communication for skilled negotiators, a phone literally fired through a window. Other loud bangs were heard -- some neighbors figured they were gunshots, others said it more likely was tear gas.

The number of police and sheriffs deputies surrounding the home was surprising to some neighbors, but deputies said they don't want to take any chances.

"This individual has a felony warrant for his arrest," said Adkins. "He's going back jail if arrested. He's made comments he would not be taken without shooting someone."

Just after 9 p.m. Wednesday, police began clearing the house, looking for the man who was reportedly inside, and residents kept away from their homes were being allowed to return about an hour later.

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