SPRINGFIELD, Ore. - A police dog took a man into custody after he threatened that he had a gun and stole a laptop from Gateway Mall, then ran from police and across Interstate 5 and hid inside a home Sunday evening, according to police in Springfield.
Steven Allen Wheeler, 36, faces charges of robbery, burglary, menacing, trespassing and interfering with a 911 call.
The incident started with a report of robbery at Best Buy at Gateway Mall.
A man, later identified as Wheeler, tried to leave the store with a laptop computer without paying. When confronted by employees, he threatend them and said he had a gun, police said.
The employees called police, who responded to the scene.
Officer Mike Massey spotted a man and woman walking near the store and confronted them. He took the woman, Aerica Marie Kohler, 26, into custody on a warrant for theft.
But the man - Wheeler - took off running.
Wheeler ran across the interstate, dropping the laptop in the process, before jumping a fence into a Eugene neighborhood.
Police from Springfield and Eugene had started searching the Willakenzie Road area neighborhood when citizens started calling 911 to report seeing a man jumping fences. One of the callers saw the man enter a home on the 1700 block of Ridgley Boulevard.
A man in the home fled out the front door and called police to report the suspect was inside.
Police responded to the home, a police dog took Wheeler into custody. He was treated for dog bites at McKenzie Willamette Hospital before being booked into the Lane County jail.