Roundup: 10 popped for car theft - Must Read Alaska
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Monday, September 28, 2020
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Roundup: 10 popped for car theft

The Anchorage Police Department has charged 10 people in six different vehicle theft cases:

CASE 1

July 10: 2009 blue Chevy Malibu was reported stolen from the 5000-block of Taku Drive, where it was waiting to be towed. The owner had left a key inside the vehicle for the tow truck driver.

On Aug. 18, police were given a tip that 30-year-old Henry L. Mason Jr., a man with some outstanding warrants, was at the Econo Lodge at 642 E. 5th Avenue. Officers responded, and while knocking on the hotel room door, they saw Mason looking out at them through the window.

23-year-old Kadaiesha C. Lanham answered the door and repeatedly told officers that she was in the room by herself.  After the officers gave her several warnings about being criminally charged if she interfered with the arrest of Mason, she continued to insist he wasn’t there.

Police detained Lanham and called into the room for Mason to come out. When Mason failed to comply, officers obtained a key from management and entered the room. Mason was taken into custody without further incident.

Officers on scene were told about a vehicle that Mason had driven to the hotel.  Officers located the vehicle in the parking lot and discovered it was the Malibu that had been reported as stolen a few weeks prior.  The plates on the Malibu belonged to a different vehicle and a rifle was found inside the car.

Kadaiesha Lanham was charged with hindering prosecution I and remanded and the Anchorage Jail. He was additionally charged with Resisting Arrest, Violation of Conditions of Release, Vehicle Theft I, Theft II, and Misconduct Involving a Weapon III.

CASES 2

Aug. 7: A 2016 blue Toyota Corolla was reported stolen from a parking space outside the owner’s workplace on the 2500-block of A Street.  The owner stated she thought the vehicle was unlocked and that a key had been left inside.

On Aug. 17,  a mid-shift patrol officer saw a vehicle in the Taco Bell drive-through on E 5th Ave.  A computer check revealed the Corolla had license plates on it which had been reported as stolen to Airport Police.

After backup units arrived a traffic stop was initiated and the three occupants were detained. A computer check of the VIN showed the Toyota had been reported as stolen 10 days prior.

All three were transported to the Anchorage Police Department for questioning by detectives.  Afterwards the driver, 40-year-old Jeremy S. Claggett, was remanded at the Anchorage Jail on the charges of Operating under the Influence, Vehicle Theft I, and Theft II.

One of the passengers, 39-year-old Vicente Mendoza, was remanded on an outstanding felony warrant.

The other passenger, 29-year-old Elliot N. Davies, was remanded on the charges of Criminal Mischief V – Riding in a Stolen Vehicle and Violate Conditions of Release for a Felony.

CASE 3

Aug. 15: A red 2000 Suzuki Swift was reported as stolen to APD. The vehicle had been parked in its assigned parking space at the owner’s home on the 2200-block of Eureka Street when it was taken.  There was a spare key inside; there was a bunch of broken glass left behind on the ground where the vehicle had been.

On Aug. 20, the owner called police dispatch stating a friend had seen the occupied stolen vehicle in a trailer park on the 700-block of Muldoon Road. Officers responded and located the Suzuki parked in front of a trailer home; 51-year-old John C. Erdelac was standing next to the vehicle.  Erdelac was detained and transported to the Anchorage Police Department for questioning by detectives. Afterwards Erdelac was remanded at the Anchorage Jail and charged with Vehicle Theft I, Theft II, and Violate Conditions of Release for a Felony.

CASE 4

Aug. 19: A 2004 black Ford F150 pickup was reported as stolen to APD. The owner stated the spare key had been stolen from his truck in June, and he believes that same person returned and used it to steal the truck.  The vehicle was parked outside a residence on the 6300-block of Markstrom Drive when it was taken.

On Aug. 21, a Chevron employee called APD to report a vehicle that had been parked near their pumps for quite some time without moving.  Officers responded to 2500 Seward Highway and located the vehicle parked next to the pumps; there was a male slumped over in the driver’s seat.  The man did not wake up until police opened the vehicle door.  He was taken into custody without incident.  A computer check revealed the vehicle had been reported as stolen two days before.

37-year-old Edgar O. Sims III was transported to the Anchorage Police Department for questioning by detectives.  During a pat search a credit card belonging to someone else was found in Sims’ pocket.  He was remanded at the Anchorage Jail on two outstanding felony warrants.  He was additionally charged with Vehicle Theft I and two counts of Theft II.

CASE 5

Aug. 21: A 2000 white GMC pickup was reported as stolen to APD. The vehicle was parked in a fenced business lot on the 1200-block of E 73rd Avenue when it was taken.  The owner thinks the vehicle may have been unlocked but there were no keys inside.

On Aug. 26, a mid-shift patrol officer was hailed by an employee at Holiday on Abbott Road.  The employee stated there was a physical disturbance on the other side of the building.  The officer drove to the location and saw a male, later identified as 37-year-old William Rhode, standing next to a GMC pickup while holding a screwdriver.  At the same time the officer was making contact with Rhode, he was notified by Dispatch that the pickup had been reported as stolen five days before.  The officer gave both Rhode and the passenger in the truck instructions; they both complied.  Once backup units arrived, both men were taken into custody.

After being transported to the Anchorage Police Department for questioning by detectives, William Rhode was remanded at the Anchorage Jail on an outstanding Fail to Appear warrant for the original charge of Operating under the Influence.

The passenger, 28-year-old Evalu Moti, was charged with Criminal Mischief V – Riding in a Stolen Vehicle.

This case is still pending.  Once further evidence is evaluated, more charges may be forthcoming for the person who is determined to be the driver of the stolen truck.

CASE 6

On Aug. 26, a security officer called APD Dispatch to report a person spray-painting a newer-looking vehicle in Springer Park on Arctic Boulevard. Officers responded and located a 2014 yellow Ford F150 pickup with a tailgate that was taped off and freshly painted black.  The company’s emblem had also been scraped off the side.  A computer check revealed the plates on the truck belonged to a different vehicle but the truck itself had not been reported as stolen.

The officer contacted the business that owned the yellow truck and was told the pickup had recently been stolen but not yet reported to police.  At that time the woman who was with the truck, 35-year-old Jennifer R. Lake-Bradford, was taken into custody and transported to the Anchorage Police Department for questioning by detecitves. Afterwards Bradford was remanded at the Anchorage Jail on the charges of Vehicle Theft I, Theft I, and Driving on a Revoked License.

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Suzanne Downing had careers in business and journalism before serving as the Director of Faith and Community-based Initiatives for Florida Gov. Jeb Bush and returning to Alaska to serve as speechwriter for Gov. Sean Parnell. Born on the Oregon coast, she moved to Alaska in 1969.

Latest comments

  • Cool, glad they got caught. I hate thieves.

  • I am absolutely shocked. I owned two business in Anchorage for over ten years. One was a daily car rental and the other a rent to own car business. Of all the stolen vehicles I had the police were only involved twice. I recovered all the other cars myself. When calling in a stolen vehicle I learned that only two people cared, me and the insurance company. There are no “hot sheets” anymore, no one looks for the vehicles except the group in Mt. View or by offering the local taxis a finders fee if they spot it. If APD stumbles across it by accident while investigating something else or more commonly it turns up out at Jim Creek. You can get what is left of it.

  • I am actually glad their NAMES are printed. Their faces would only be sugar on top! Now, if we knew how long they had to cool their heels in jail we might be pleased, or disappointed. One of our governor’s first orders of business was gutting SB91. But that was roundly resisted ironically enough by legislatures the people elected. The same people who are likely angry so much about the poor law. So it was kind of gutted. Now we’ll see how much guts are left on the table as criminals are caught and kept out of our community.

  • I think that there was some kind of a misunderstanding in each of these cases. There is no auto theft problem in Anchorage. Just ask Mayor Berkowitz and Kommandante Doll.

  • APD seems kind of lame. Anchorage has turned into a cesspool of homeless drug addicts, car thieves, gang bangers and thugs. It has big city problems and everyone seems to look the other way. I was robbed once and basically had to solve my own crime. I went around to pawn shops identifying my stolen property and getting descriptions of the perpetrators, then located the thieves and had them quickly arrested. But not everyone is as motivated as I was because I hate punk-ass thieves.

  • They’ve got the speed trap thing down though.

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