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Byline: The Register-Guard

METRO

Suspect in bank robbery caught by police

Eugene police on Friday captured a man suspected of robbing a North Gilham area bank minutes after the heist.

Shortly before 9:30 a.m., a man entered the Bank of America branch inside the Market of Choice at 1060 Green Acres Road and demanded money from a teller. He fled on foot with an undetermined amount of cash, police said.

Officers combed through the area and located a man matching the description of the robber on Donovan Drive off Norkenzie Road, about a half-mile from the bank.

The suspect, Richard Joseph Simons-Gifford, 18, was lodged at the Lane County Jail. At the time of his arrest, Simons-Gifford was carrying a 10-inch knife, police said.

No weapon was displayed during the robbery, police said.

Thieves snag copper from EWEB substations

Three Eugene Water & Electric Board substations have been struck recently by thieves who stole copper that was being used to ground components of the electrical system.

On Tuesday, the McKenzie Substation near Interstate 5 was the latest to be hit by thieves, who sell the copper on the scrap market. Two other substations also have had copper grounding lines stolen in recent weeks.

Other local utilities and the Bonneville Power Administration reportedly have had similar incidents in the past few days or weeks. The thieves usually cut through chain-link fences and then cut any copper grounding lines connecting the metal structure of the substation to the ground.

Theft of copper has increased at utility facilities, construction sites and other locations in recent months as the price of the metal has skyrocketed. The cost of repairing the damage at the three EWEB substations is estimated at $25,000 to $30,000.

REGION

'Bicycles on Roadway' signs on Territorial Road

VENETA - The state Department of Transportation has added signs alerting motorists to bicycles on Territorial Road between Veneta and Lorane.

Transportation crews completed the installation of six "Bicycles on Roadway" signs on Friday. The sign project was prompted by the death of bicyclist Jane Higdon in May. A passing log truck struck and killed Higdon while she was riding southbound on Territorial near Hamm Road, west of Creswell.

The Transportation Department plans to erect more signs on the road later this year.

Today, as many as 2,000 bicycle riders will use Territorial Road as they travel from Eugene to Oakland on the first leg of the Cycle Oregon weekend ride.

The agency is reminding motorists driving on Territorial this weekend to take extra precautions for the safety of cyclists and other drivers.

NORTHWEST

Man accused of sexually abusing teenager

HILLSBORO - A 39-year-old man who had a robe with the words ``Master Eric'' and claimed that a psychic ability called ``remote viewing'' helped him locate runaways has been accused of sexually abusing a teenager, police said.

Police said the victim was 17 when a follower of Eric J. Pepin recruited him in 2004. Police said Pepin then had him perform sex acts.

Pepin and an employee, Jamison Priebe, 21, who lives at the same address as Pepin in Aloha, surrendered on charges of using a child in a sexual display and sexual abuse. A grand jury issued indictments last week.

Pepin's attorney, Sam Kauffman, said the charges were false.
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Title Annotation:General News
Publication:The Register-Guard (Eugene, OR)
Date:Jul 22, 2006
Words:548
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