Petty Crimes Turn Violent
Shoplifting Escalates to Major Charges
ANCHORAGE - Three people are behind bars after two robberies at separate businesses. They're facing serious charges after petty thefts turned violent.
On Tuesday, 25-year-old Brian Sliker probably thought he'd got away with over $500 in cross country ski clothing as he left Alaska Mountaineering & Hiking with the gear underneath his clothes. Before he got away, two employees stopped him in the parking lot. Then it turned violent. Sliker struck an employee and slashed the other in the hand. The employees called the police and restrained Sliker until police arrived. He could have faced a misdemeanor, but his violent outburst has him facing first-degree robbery and bail set at $25,000. "Basically what he did was turned a shoplifting situation - which could have even been a misdemeanor shoplift - he turned that into a felony, and a major felony at that," said Anchorage Police Department's Lieutenant Dave Parker.
Two other suspects faced similar serious charges that started when 28-year-old Megan Allen put four Kindle Fire tablets in her purse at Best Buy. She and Joseph Wingate attempted to leave the store, Best Buy employees approached them. Allen told the employees she had pepper spray and a gun. Best Buy let them go and called police.
Police tried to pull over the '96 Suzuki four-door near Muldoon Road and the Glenn Highway. The driver, Wingate, refused to pull over, so police spiked his tires near East Sixth and Muldoon. This still didn't stop him, so police used driving manuevers to stop the vehicle. Wingate's door was pinned when they finally stopped near 15th and Muldoon. Edwards tried to escape but was stopped by an officer on foot.
They face robbery charges along with resisting arrest and Wingate is charged with felony eluding. All three could face 20-year sentences.
It's these unpredictable outbursts that prompted Skinny Raven to tell its employees to pick up the phone. Purchasing Prime Minister John Clark said he tells employees, "call the authorities; we're not going to confront someone and put a employee well being at risk."
It's all in an effort to prevent something that costs retailers and customers every time it happens.