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Myrtle Point Man Arrested on Robbery Charges - Interstate 5 near Curtain
Lieutenant Doug Ladd
Oregon State Police - Roseburg
(541) 440-3366

Photograph link valid 30 days - Source: Douglas County Sheriff's Office
Oregon State Police (OSP) troopers from the Roseburg Area Command are continuing the investigation into an early morning robbery that occurred in northern Douglas County and ended in the arrest of a Myrtle Point man.
On June 30 2010, at about 6:00 a.m. an OSP trooper initiated a traffic stop on a 2007 Honda Civic on Interstate 5 southbound near milepost 163 at the Curtain interchange. The occupants of the Honda Civic, a 17-year old male driver and 15-year old female passenger, immediately informed the trooper they had just been robbed by a hitchhiker they had just dropped off. The two informed the trooper they picked the suspect up because he was carrying a gas can. Shortly after dropping him off, they discovered he had taken the girl's purse, wallet, make-up and other items.
Both juveniles said they went back and confronted the suspect who brandished what they believed to be a gun. The suspect told them he would shoot them if they came after him. The suspect then ran off into the brush in the area of Pass Creek Park.
The trooper searched the area and found the suspect hiding in the brush and took him into custody. The suspect was identified as SAMUEL MERLIN NEAL, age 55, from Myrtle Point.  NEAL was arrested for the following charges:
  • Robbery in the Second Degree (2 counts)
  • Menacing (2 counts)
  • Theft in the Second Degree
The "weapon" NEAL displayed turned out to be an Allen Wrench tool.  All of the stolen items valued about $450 were recovered.
NEAL was lodged in the Douglas County Jail.