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Police investigate rash of violent robberies

By Lauren Maxwell 6:26 PM November 26, 2013

Police say victims were so badly injured they were hospitalized for several days

ANCHORAGE – Anchorage police are trying to figure out if a recent rash of robberies and brutal assaults could be related.

The first attack happened in September to a 76-year-old man who was blowing the leaves from the front yard of his Jewel Lake home. Three young men approached him claiming they were fundraising for West High School. That’s all he remembers. He woke up in a pool of blood and his wallet was gone.

The next attack was eerily similar. It happened in a neighborhood not far from the Jewel Lake Fire Station: In that case, a 65-year-old man had just returned to his garage after getting the mail when he was confronted by two young men who claimed to be Mormons. They asked him about Jesus, then beat him up and stole his wallet.

Police say both men were so badly injured they were hospitalized for several days.

“These are not just robberies,” said Sgt. Mike Couturier, head of the Anchorage Police Department’s Robbery and Assault Unit. “These are robberies with vicious assaults attached to them, even beyond what might be necessary to carry out the crime.”

Another robbery last week left a cab driver hospitalized. Three men in their 20s asked to go to the Arctic Tern Inn, but made the driver stop in a nearby alley instead. The men pulled the driver from the cab and kicked him in the head until he lost consciousness.

Police aren’t sure any of the cases are linked but they are looking into the possibility.

They say they hope to make some arrests in the near future.

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