Thieves emboldened: Shooting at citizens - Must Read Alaska
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Thieves emboldened: Shooting at citizens

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BE CAREFUL OUT THERE — CAR THIEVES HAVE UPPED THE ANTE

Since Thursday night, car thieves have been shooting at citizens.

These were not just any citizens, but those who seemed to have a sense that the vehicle in question was stolen. Citizens who were a bit too curious about the occupants and took a second look, if you will. Citizens who know a car theft when they see it.

“It’s gotten aggressive in the last few weeks,” said Floyd Hall, the man whose specialty is recovering cars that were stolen. The New York Times recently ran a feature story on him.

Hall doesn’t like the trend he sees of Wild West shooting, and he wants people to take it seriously. Although he has recovered as many as 80 cars so far this year, he’s also been shot at, and he and his loose knit team of car recovery enthusiasts are rightfully wary, with this latest trend.

Floyd Hall recovers stolen cars as a citizen patroller. He has a knack for it, but warns people that thieves may be getting more dangerous. Be careful out there.

The first in the string of car theft-related shootings occurred in Muldoon around 11:45 pm on Thursday. A couple who had a vehicle stolen from them in recent months were on their way into Anchorage from Eagle River, when they had to make a stop in Muldoon.

Because they now follow some of the citizen Facebook pages in Anchorage devoted to crime stopping, they are tuned to looking for stolen vehicles — after all, they know what it’s like to be victims.

They noticed vehicle they had recognized as stolen. They followed the car, a maroon Ford Taurus. But they didn’t follow closely.

When they came out of the 2nd and Fern Street area, the car suddenly was on them, following them back, and it started speeding up, slowing down, pulling alongside them, and finally a shot was fired at them. The couple was on the phone with police, and also was texting with Hall.

Hall told them the safest place they could go was to the nearest gate at JBER. The maroon Taurus sped away at about Turpin and Boundary. It was later recovered in a driveway at 35th and Baxter — with some tobacco and telltale cotton balls left behind. Cotton balls are typical for drug users who strain heroin before injecting it. Through cross-checking, the vehicle was found to have plates from a different vehicle.

The stolen car was found on Baxter and 35th.

Meanwhile, the couple was able to make a report to the police, but they were unnerved by the experience.

The vehicle that suspicious persons were working on are the top two photos, and at the lower right, the vehicle from which shots were allegedly fired.

The second incident happened on Sunday. A woman in Mountainview drove her vehicle near Rose Davis Park, where she noticed a maroon SUV and two other SUVs that were silver and gold.

Some people — at least one described as Pacific Islander in origin, in the age range of 20-30 and with a beard, seemed to be engaged in an activity around them.

When the woman circled through a nearby street and came back to see if it still seemed suspicious to her, she decided to call 311, the non-emergency police line.

She saw the gold Tahoe-type vehicle with black wheels take off, and she snapped a blurry picture of it. And then she heard the pop and realized she was being shot at. She was still on hold with police and was sending text messages to Floyd Hall. Police finally arrived. One silver SUV was recovered, but one is still out there — with possible shooters driving it.

NOT AGAIN!

The third vehicle theft of the week that involved a shooting came Monday, April 23, at 4:25 am. Randy Rice woke up to find his maroon truck being stolen. He’d been a victim of a stolen car a year earlier.

He followed where he thought his truck was going and saw it at the Fred Meyer store parking lot in midtown.

Rice tried to block it but the person in his truck, a light-skinned black male, took off down Fireweed, going west. Just past C street, Rice’s stolen truck turned left, and that’s when about 10 rounds were popped off toward Rice, who was still pursuing in his other vehicle. He called police. The vehicle was found by one of the spotters that Floyd Hall works with. It was parked alongside the side street less than eight hours after being stolen. Rice was able to drive it home.

GAS STATION HEISTS

But those aren’t the only shootings of late. Gas stations are under attack, and now weapons are being brandished in broad daylight robberies.

On Tuesday, April 17, police responded to the Shell station at 810 W Tudor Road. The manager said four men approached the station in an older-model Chevy SUV.  The driver stayed in the vehicle while the three passengers got out and walked into the business.  Two of the suspects each grabbed a cash register off of the counter.

At that time, an employee walked out of the back room into the main area of the store. A third suspect saw the employee and fired a round with a shotgun.  The three suspects backed out of the store carrying the cash registers and merchandise, as the shooter fired off two more rounds.

Fortunately, no injuries resulted.

That same night the Tesoro station on 500 Hollywood Drive in Government Hill was hit. Three men got out of a black Chevy Tahoe; one carried a shotgun, while the others took the cash register. No shots were fired. The Tahoe was later found burned and smoldering on Baxter Road.

DRUG DEALS GOING ON? CALL POLICE, DON’T GET SHOT

On March 17, police were dispatched to the 6600 block of Fairweather Drive, where a man saw two suspicious vehicles parked in front of an apartment complex he manages.

He approached and told the two men in the vehicles to leave the private property, and then he snapped pictures with his cell phone before getting into his car, where his pregnant wife was waiting. That’s when his rear windows were shot out.

Police determined that 26-year-old Rasean Daniels was responsible for the shooting and he was arrested on April 5 for attempted murder. The other suspect hasn’t been found.

 

The suspect sought in the shooting on Fairweather Drive on March 17.

 

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Written by

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

  • What was it the Anchorage mayor said – if you’re not a drug dealer and not out of doors after a certain time there is nothing to worry about? Bill Walker has taken Alaska to a place we never wanted to go. In 2017 there was one burglary a day in Juneau, and the homeless cuss at and urinate in front of pedestrians in the middle of the day – just in time for the first cruise ship on April 30. In Anchorage it’s a modern day Bosnia. Feeling sorry for felons while telling their victims to buck up and get a life is the prescription of the touchy-feelie Left, but I would bet there has been a 400% increase in the number of law-abiding Alaskans carrying guns every day and my guess would be that is just what Walker, Berkowitz and the rest of the Left didn’t want or expect. Time to short the market on the value of the many pens Walker handed out when he signed SB 91.

    • Umm, actually we all have REPUBLICAN senator John Coghill primarily to thank for SB 91. Can’t blame the left for everything, stupidity comes from both sides.

  • Might have to hire bounty hunters to do what others apparently can’t, or won’t do…

    Deploy decoy cars that lock in thieves and spray ’em with a little dye for easy identification.

    Learn how jury nullification might be used to protect enthusiastic defenders of life and property.

    Contract with “Sombre Negra” to manage the gang problem.

    Pass a law with a ten-year presumptive, no -parole penalty against drug dealers.

    No, forget that last, it’s too mean and vindictive.

  • And Coghill still stands by SB91. Unconscionable.

  • Might just start shooting back ..take no Prisoners…

  • I read where one town in the lower 48 on the city welcome sign has a sign that says if you kill one of us we will kill you. Are you just to let them steal your car and you do nothing?

  • You’d think the Anchorage Business community would be up in arms to do something about this. I literally shop online for everything I can to avoid going to a local store and getting accosted in the parking lot by vagrants and criminals. I don’t leave my car anywhere in town for longer than 15 minutes. I drive out of town to recreate. One night I was driving home and some guy came running out of the woods with a stick and started hitting my car. I’ve lived in Alaska my whole life and I’ve never ever seen it this bad.

    • Next thing you know, law-abiding citizens will start carrying bear spray, or long-reach hornet spray or cute little bottles of home-made pepper spray for purposes other than repelling bears…

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