UOPD investigation of multiple burglaries leads to two arrests

UOPD patrol car

A UO Police Department investigation led to the arrest of two men allegedly connected to a number of break-ins and robberies on campus and in the West University Neighborhood since January.

According to a UOPD report, the burglaries resulted in several thousand dollars’ worth of property being stolen from UO students and the university. Some of the stolen items were recovered during an arrest, police said.  

Joseph Ryan Belecz, 26, and Michael Adren Zoch, 31, both face charges of first-degree burglary and criminal mischief, among others, and were booked into the Lane County Jail.

The investigation began following multiple break-ins at Barnhart Hall in July, when the suspects were captured by video surveillance cameras. Reports said a UOPD officer was able to identify Belecz after reviewing the security footage from Barnhart Hall and footage from private businesses in the West University Neighborhood that were also burgled.

Working with the Eugene Police Department, UOPD identified Belecz as a suspect in more than a dozen burglaries in the neighborhood, police said. EPD officers  located and arrested him in late July. UOPD officers accompanied EPD during the arrest, and police said they recovered multiple items stolen from Barnhart Hall.

Zoch was arrested by UOPD in August on multiple outstanding arrest warrants. Following his arrest, Zoch allegedly told a UOPD officer that he was the second person involved in the Barnhart Hall burglary, the reports said. Zoch was indicted by a Lane County grand jury in July for a January robbery at a UO students’ residence off campus.