Armed robbery suspects targeting lone Anchorage women
Anchorage police are warning women to be cautious when walking or in a car alone after three armed robberies earlier this week.
The robberies occurred between 6:30 p.m. and 10:30 p.m. Thursday in three separate parts of town. An announcement from the Anchorage Police Department originally said they occurred Wednesday between 8 p.m. and midnight.
The first robbery was reported just after 6:30 p.m. near the intersection of 17th Avenue and Karluk Street in Fairview. The second occurred just before 9:30 p.m. on the 9000 block of Morningside Loop.
Police say in both cases, the women were in their cars when they were approached by two men who robbed them of their purses at gunpoint.
The third robbery happened just before 10:30 p.m. on the 6000 block of Fairweather Drive. Police say the woman was walking home when two men approached her, robbed her at gunpoint and then fled on foot to a vehicle.
Because the motive was the same in all three cases, Lt. John McKinnon says it’s possible they’re looking for the same suspects in these robberies.
Sheena Davis, who co-owns Israel Krav Maga Alaska, a self-defense and fitness studio, says the first thing she saw this morning was police alerting her to the robberies and telling her to be aware of her surroundings. It’s something Davis says she already incorporates into her daily routine.
“I don’t sit in a parking lot for a long time in my car,” she said. “As soon as I’m walking through the parking lot, I’m looking around, always looking around. I walk around my car, make sure no one’s hiding, I mean, just in case.”
Davis says because she’s invested in how to defend herself, she’s become more empowered.
“In the event that if something happened, I’m attacked — I’m prepared, and that’s why I train,” explained Davis, who’s lived in town for about 11 years. “Things are just getting more dangerous. I mean Anchorage is becoming a scarier place.”
When it comes to robberies that happen in public, like Thursday’s incidents, McKinnon says they have seen an uptick from 264 in 2015 to 319 in 2016. Still, he says, he believes Anchorage is a safe place.
“The fact is is that these kinds of things happen, they’ve happened since I’ve been a cop, and they’re going to happen into the future,” said McKinnon. “So to think we’re going to eliminate it is foolish.”
He says the advice he’s extending to the public is what Friday’s Nixle stated — “to be cautious and to be aware of their surroundings.”
Correction: An earlier version of the story indicated the robberies occurred Wednesday between 8 p.m. and midnight Thursday. The story has been amended.
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