An early-morning call to Talent police resulted in the arrest of a man who allegedly was trying to break in to a home in a 55-and-older community, police said.
Michael Jarrod Bakkela, 34, is held without bail in the Jackson County Jail on charges of attempted burglary, possession of methamphetamine, second-degree trespass and criminal mischief, as well as a probation violation, jail records show. Police suspect Bakkela cut the screen to the home in an attempt to get inside, but was thwarted when a woman inside the home called 911 to summon poilce.
Talent Police Chief Mike Moran said the call came in at 1:08 a.m. from Oak Valley, a 55-and-older gated community in Talent. A woman said she had heard a noise that sounded like a suppressed cough coming from her backyard. When she looked outside, she saw a shadow and called the police.
"She called us right away," Moran said.
Police from Talent and Phoenix responded and found Bakkela. Police said he kept changing his story when asked about what he was doing in the area.
"He claimed a couple different things," Moran said. "First of all, he pretended he wasn't really sure where he was, and then he pretended he was looking for his girlfriend. It just didn't make any sense at all."
Bakkela was arrested and is being held in jail for violating his probation. He had no weapons on him.
Moran said he hopes more people will think to call the police if they notice suspicious activity, even if it turns out to be nothing. He said that many people call a day or so after they first notice something, making it more difficult to track suspects down.
"I really strongly encourage people to never feel bad about calling," Moran said. "Even if it turns out to be a raccoon or whatever."
— Ryan Pfeil