Burglary Suspect Wakes Up Couple

EUGENE, Ore. — A Eugene couple woke up in the middle of the night to find a man with a gun in their home telling them to get down on the ground.

With the help of roommates and neighbors, police say they were able to catch the burglar and intervene in the burglary.

Jed Gleasman calls his neighborhood a quiet place to live where not much happens, but he’s now questioning that safety after the burglar greeted him with a gun around 3 a.m.

“I was woken up initially, and that was because he came into my room,” Gleasman said.

He’s not quite sure how Brandon Gerdes allegedly got into his home. But with the help of roommates, officers arrived before Gerdes left the home.

“Surprisingly he got away with my cell phone, and I think that’s when the cops came,” Gleasman said.

Police say they found Gerdes on the second floor of the home armed with a gun. When officers approached Gerdes, they say he jumped off this second floor balcony and then ran through yards.

“He ran into our neighbor’s yard there, was on the deck, cut through those yards, and I guess wound up on the roof of the next house down on the hill,” said resident Don St. Clair.

Police blocked off the entire neighborhood as they searched for Gerdes. Officers admit neighbors were the key piece in finding the suspect.

Officers say this is a reminder for Eugene residents to keep all doors and windows locked.

“We rely on the eyes and ears of the people in the area to help us get the job done, and in this case the neighbors were helpful,” said Doug Mozan, Acting Eugene Police Chief.

And while Gleasman still isn’t sure how the suspect got into his home, officers say this is a reminder for Eugene residents to keep all doors and windows locked.

“I’m not really sure 100 percent how he got in. For most cases we do lock the doors,”¬†Gleasman said.

“We’re getting into a warmer season when people want to leave their windows ajar and open for ventilation. And while I understand that, it’s always smarter to leave upstairs windows open,” Mozan said.

One neighbor says this tight-knit community won’t be torn apart by this burglary.

“Eugene is still a very safe place. We have very cohesive neighborhoods, and there’s a lot of safety in that,” St. Clair said.

The Eugene Police Department says it believes Gerdes was injured when he jumped off of the second floor balcony.

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