Alleged shoplifter reportedly armed when arrested

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August 20, 2022

Ashland man faces 70 months on charges related to alleged armed shoplifting at Market of Choice

By Stephen Floyd, Ashland.news

An Ashland man is facing a Measure 11 robbery charge after what a police report indicates was a shoplifting-gone-wrong incident at a local grocery store earlier this month.

Zachary Charles Gutierrez, 28, pleaded not guilty Aug. 10 to multiple charges, including armed robbery, following an incident Aug. 6 at Market of Choice, in Ashland.

According to an affidavit from the Ashland Police Department, Gutierrez was confronted outside the store by a loss prevention employee after Gutierrez allegedly left with several unpaid items in his coat. The two “immediately began to struggle with each other,” said the affidavit, and the employee suffered multiple injuries to his knees, hands, forearm and elbow.

When police responded, three officers took Gutierrez into custody and allegedly found a loaded firearm concealed in the suspect’s pocket. The estimated cost of the stolen merchandise was $16.48.

Gutierrez is charged with first-degree robbery, third-degree robbery, fourth-degree assault, unlawful possession of a firearm, second-degree disorderly conduct and third-degree theft. If convicted, he faces a mandatory minimum of 70 months in prison.

As of Saturday evening, country records show Gutierrez was still held in the Jackson County Jail in lieu of $20,000 bail. He is scheduled for a pretrial hearing Aug. 29 before Judge Lorenzo Mejia in Jackson County Circuit Court.

This was Gutierrez’ first arrest for a violent offense in Oregon.

Email Ashland.news reporter Stephen Floyd at sfloydmedia@gmail.com.

Aug. 21 update: Corrected transposition of judge’s first and last names and clarified sentencing guideline.

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Bert Etling

Bert Etling

Bert Etling is the executive editor of Ashland.news. Email him at betling@ashland.news.

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