Court Documents Shed Light on Keyes Arrest for Access Device Fraud in Koenig Case
Keyes withdrew money repeatedly with a stolen debit card across several states
ANCHORAGE - Court documents released late Thursday detail the series of events leading up to the first arrest in the kidnapping case of 18-year-old Samantha Koenig.
Texas Rangers, Texas Department of Public Safety officers and FBI agents arrested 34-year-old Israel Keyes last week in Lufkin, Texas, and Anchorage police said Keyes faces one count of access device fraud in connection with Koenig’s abduction from the Common Grounds espresso stand at Tudor and Old Seward on February 1.
According to a sealed FBI affidavit filed in U.S. District Court, Keyes was in possession of a stolen debit card and multiple rolls of cash when he was taken into custody. The card had been reported stolen by a male referred to as “person A” the morning of February 2, just hours after Koenig was last seen.
The man told law enforcement officers he had seen another man wearing a ski mask and dark clothing searching through his vehicle, and believed his debit card was taken during the incident.
Nearly a month later, on the morning of February 28, a security camera recorded an unidentified light-skinned man using the card to attempt to withdraw $600 from a Midtown ATM. The transaction was rejected because it exceeded the daily withdrawal limit, but later that night the same individual was recorded using the card to withdraw $500 from a West Anchorage ATM.
Shortly afterwards, in the early morning hours of February 29, a person believed to be the same man withdrew another $500 from another ATM in East Anchorage. It was the last withdrawal in Anchorage, but more than a week later, another security camera captured a man wearing a gray hooded sweatshirt, glasses, a gray facemask, gloves, blue jeans and white shoes withdrawing $400 with the stolen debit card from an ATM in Wilcox, Arizona.
According to camera footage, the man appeared to be driving a white Ford Focus sedan, and on March 8, just a few hours later, another $400 withdrawal was attempted with the stolen card at an ATM in Lordsburg, New Mexico. The transaction was again denied because it exceeded daily withdrawal limits, and just one minute later, a balance inquiry into the same account was conducted from the Lordsburg ATM. The balance shown was nearly $3,600, and a minute later another $80 was withdrawn from the same account using the same ATM.
The withdrawals continued over the next several days, totaling more than $2,300 and tracing a pattern through Arizona, New Mexico and Texas. The white Ford Focus sedan bearing Texas license plates and associated with the withdrawals was finally tracked to a Quality Inn & Suites in Lufkin.
A white man later identified as Keyes was seen exiting the hotel on the morning of March 13, placing some personal items in the trunk and driving away. An hour later, Keyes was pulled over outside a Lufkin restaurant for speeding. He told the Texas State Highway Patrol officer he had flown from Anchorage to Las Vegas on March 7 and rented the sedan to drive to a wedding in Wells, Texas. The affidavit reports Keyes became increasingly confrontational, and could not explain his route or the details of his trip.
In the front seat of his car officers observed multiple maps with highlighted routes through California, Arizona and New Mexico, rolls of cash in the car door and a pair of white tennis shoes. A search of the car revealed the stolen debit card, a gray hooded sweatshirt, glasses and a facemask made from a piece of a gray t-shirt.
Keyes was taken into custody at a federal facility in Texas, and U.S Attorney Karen Loeffler said the U.S. Marshals will fly him back to Alaska at an undisclosed date.
A representative for the U.S Attorney’s Office in Anchorage could not be reached for comment on whether Keyes is believed to have stolen the card in the first place, or on the connection between Koenig, the card and Keyes.
Read the entire affidavit by clicking here.