JBER personnel help APD apprehend suspects of vehicle theft
Early Tuesday morning, Anchorage police and personnel from Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson caught up with a stolen vehicle and suspects inside. Three people were arrested, while another woman was released after it was determined she was not a suspect.
Just after 2 a.m., police spotted a 2005 white Chevrolet pickup truck on Turpin Road that had been reported stolen. Officers attempted to pull the vehicle over, but were unsuccessful. The stolen truck rammed into a police vehicle and took off, heading on to the Glenn Highway.
A short while later, another officer saw the truck heading up Arctic Valley Road, according to police. Other officers responded to the area and later found the vehicle 100 yards off the road near Ship Creek, crashed into some trees. A woman was left inside, suffering from minor injuries caused by the crash. Police took her into custody, but later released her and took her to a nearby hospital for treatment of her injuries. Police notified the base of the crash, as the vehicle had stopped on military property.
Another woman, 24-year-old Helen Them, was located several yards away and taken into custody on an unrelated warrant.
JBER law enforcement and Anchorage K9 units assisted in a search of the area, leading to the discovery of a man on a “hill with steep terrain and hazardous conditions,” according to police. JBER medics staged a rescue of the man, 34-year-old Anthony Rezendes. He appeared to be suffering from a head injury and was taken to a hospital for treatment. Police said he had an extraditable warrant from Wisconsin for violating probation.
Police learned the driver of the stolen vehicle was still at large, so they continued their search. Around 3:45 a.m., they were notified an alarm had gone off at a power plant near the Arctic Valley dam. When police arrived, they found a broken window. They searched the building floor by floor and found the suspect, 30-year-old Joseph Graffius, hiding in the basement.
He was arrested and charged with first-degree vehicle theft, second-degree assault, resisting arrest, fourth-degree criminal mischief, reckless endangerment, failure to stop at the direction of an officer and leaving the scene of an accident. He was taken to the Anchorage Correctional Complex and held on a bail of $10,000 cash corporate with an additional $2,500 performance bond.
None of the officers involved in the pursuit of the truck was injured.
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