Alleged burglar bitten by K9 while fleeing

Gerardo Javier Lara-Alvarez

Two burglars tried for a second bite at the same apple and ended up in handcuffs Tuesday, Oct. 22.

On Oct. 21, a theft from a vehicle on Clark Avenue Northeast was reported to Keizer police and the items taken included a 9mm pistol. 

The following day, about 1:35 p.m., Keizer officers responded to a report of suspicious activity at the same Clark Avenue address. Officers were told two males had ridden into the area on bicycles and jumped over a fence into the backyard of a home. As officers arrived on the scene, they spotted two men exiting the garage of the residence. 

Jesus Mercado-Urenda

The men fled on bikes, ignoring the officer’s commands to stop. Additional officers arrived in the area, but the men had abandoned their bikes and continued their flight on foot. Around the same time, officers entered the home where the burglary had occurred and found several firearms staged next to the back door. 

The Keizer Police Department K9 team responded to the area to begin tracking the suspects. One man was found hiding in a bush in a nearby backyard on Harcourt Avenue Northeast. He refused to surrender to the police and was bitten by K9 before being taken into custody. 

Minutes later, the second suspect was found hiding in a wood pile. He surrendered without incident. 

The two suspects were later identified as Gerardo Javier Lara-Alvarez, 21, and Jesus Mercado-Urenda, 19, both of Salem. Lara-Alavarez was taken to Salem Hospital for treatment of minor bite wounds. Police also located a backpack discarded while the men were fleeing that contained the 9mm pistol stolen the day before as well as a second 9mm and .25 caliber pistol that were taken from the home during the burglary. 

Both men were taken to the Marion County jail. Lara-Alavarez was charged with burglary, theft and unlawful entry into a motor vehicle. Mercado Urenda was charged with burglary and possession of burglary tools.