Anchorage Police arrested a man for breaking into two separate vehicles Wednesday after one victim and a good Samaritan followed the thieves.


The Anchorage Police Department responded to Blaines Art on Photo Avenue after hearing reports of theft from an employee’s vehicle. A woman told APD she had been at work for about 10 minutes when a maintenance worker from another building let her know her vehicle had a broken window.


The woman went out to the parking lot, saw that her vehicle’s window was broken and two men walking away carrying her computer bag. She yelled at the men and chased after them on foot. A woman driving by saw the victim running and asked the victim what had happened.


After giving an explanation, the driver picked up the woman and they drove off after the two suspects. The two women called APD dispatch and relayed what was happening. The women were able to get close enough to the suspects to get a picture of them.


As the call was dispatched over the radio, an officer heard the suspects’ descriptions and realized he had just seen the two men run through the area of Arctic and Benson Boulevards.


The women told police they had lost sight of the men on the 800 block of West 12th Avenue where the men began running around buildings. The officer responded to the area where 24-year-old Justin Riffe was found hiding under a stairwell with the victim’s computer bag and most of the items still inside. APD stated in the release that Riffe had an outstanding felony warrant.


Meanwhile, another APD officer responded to Burger King on Northern Lights around 10:30 a.m. for another vehicle break-in. A woman who worked at the restaurant realized someone had broken out the window of her vehicle an hour prior. While nothing was stolen, surveillance footage showed that it was Riffe who had damaged her vehicle. The other man who was with Riffe at Blaines Art was also shown in the video.


Police charged Riffe with two counts of criminal mischief and two counts of theft and took him to the Anchorage Jail.


APD is trying to contact the man who was with Riffe during the commission of both crimes and are not identifying him at this time.


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