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Roseburg man sent to prison in strange burglary

An 18-year-old Roseburg man was sentenced to more than two years in prison Thursday for breaking into a house, stealing a laptop and struggling with the deputy who arrested him.

Appearing in Douglas County Circuit Court, Jeffrey Michael Beck was given 29 months in prison and 36 months of post-prison supervision. He pleaded no contest to first-degree burglary, second-degree theft and resisting arrest.

Beck has been in custody since Feb. 12. At about 4 that morning, he entered a home in the 1000 block of Arcadia Lane through a garage door. He took a laptop computer and left as a dog in the house began barking, according to the Douglas County Sheriff’s Office.

Beck returned minutes later, knocked on the front door and asked the homeowner if his friend lived there. The man said no and called 911 as Beck walked off.

Beck was spotted by a sheriff’s deputy in the 600 block of Garden Valley Boulevard, not far from Arcadia Lane.

As he was being handcuffed, Beck tensed up his arms and resisted, at one point trying to punch the deputy. The deputy performed a leg sweep to take Beck to the ground, then deployed his Taser into Beck’s chest and thigh, according to the sheriff’s office.

At the time of the incident, Beck was homeless and absconding from probation.

Judge Ronald Poole could have given Beck up to 34 months in prison or sentenced him to probation. Before ruling, Poole had an obvious question: After stealing the laptop, why did Beck go back and knock on the front door?

The homeowner, James Moore, who stands at least 6 feet tall, told the judge he thinks if he were any older or more frail, Beck would have tried to overpower him and burglarize the whole house.

Moore worked for 22 years in law enforcement in Texas, including time as a corrections officer. He said he and his wife retired to Douglas County five years ago and have lived on Arcadia Lane for four years.

He said he sleeps with a loaded pistol near his bed. On the night he answered the door, he said it was concealed out of view, behind his back. He said the break-in has left him and his wife feeling violated and unsafe in their own home.

“I feel like I’m back in the penitentiary again. I’m in a house with locked doors,” he said.

Defense attorney Erik Swallow told Poole that Beck knew a previous occupant of the house and believed it was a safe place to stay.

According to Deputy District Attorney Steve Hoddle, Beck told the arresting deputy he returned to the house so the homeowner would know why the dog was barking and wouldn’t be suspicious.

Another theory was introduced by witness Angela Beck, who adopted Jeffrey Beck and his younger sister from foster care when the boy was 6. She said many times she’s watched him get close to success. His behavior on Feb. 12 was an expression of his painful background and his lack of self-worth, she said.

“He doesn’t believe he deserves a good life. Every time he gets close, he does something stupid like this,” Angela Beck said.

Under questioning from the judge, Beck repeated his claim that he was at Moore’s house because he thought he was welcome to stay there.

“I don’t believe your story,” Poole told him.

• Reporter Garrett Andrews can be reached at 541-957-4218 or gandrews@nrtoday.com.

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The News-Review Updated Apr 26, 2013 11:46AM Published Apr 28, 2013 11:05PM Copyright 2013 The News-Review. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.