During a single shift, Anchorage police officers were able to recover three recently stolen vehicles and make as many arrests in those cases.


In a statement, Anchorage police said the first vehicle recovered was a Honda CRV, which was spotted by K9 Officers Brandon Otts and Christopher Vierra around 11:45 p.m. on Jan. 30. The officers found the vehicle parked along the 4400 block of Spenard Road and saw the driver walk into the lobby of a nearby hotel. Otts and Vierra confronted him inside and the man gave them a false name. He was arrested and booked under the name of “John Doe” until he was identified as 36-year-old Anwar Wheeler.


Wheeler faces charges of first-degree vehicle theft and giving a false report. He is also being held on a no bail parole warrant for assault, robbery and misconduct involving weapons, according to police.


About half an hour later, K9 Officer Lars Tulip and Officers Darwin Hendricks and Heidi Schaeffer were called to a car wash on the 1000 block of West Dimond Boulevard after a man reported seeing his friend’s stolen vehicle “being spray painted in the carwash,” according to police.


The owner of the vehicle, Loth Sayavong, said the friend who spotted the car “thought it was funny” that someone would spray paint a car, and took to social media to see if anyone was missing an Acura. Another friend saw his post and alerted him to the fact that Sayavong’s vehicle had been stolen.


The suspect drove away but police later caught up with him on the Old Seward Highway near Dowling Road.


After boxing him in, the officers arrest 25-year-old Damian Mowery and charged him with vehicle theft and criminal mischief. He also had an outstanding warrant for unlawful evasion. He is being held at the Anchorage Correctional Complex without bail.


Just after 3 a.m., another K9 officer, Officer Scott Huston, saw a Pontiac Grand Am, reported stolen, driving west on Fifth Avenue near Airport Heights, according to police. Officer Huston “positioned himself in front of the vehicle while several other officers assist[ed] with blocking the car in,” police explained in a statement. While officers were trying to box him in, the driver rammed one of the police vehicles. Police were able to finally subdue and arrest him near the intersection with Juneau Street.


Police identified the driver as 34-year-old Norman Seton and charged him with vehicle theft, driving with a suspended license and failure to stop at the direction of a police officer. He was jailed at the Anchorage Correctional Complex under a bail of $7,500 cash corporate with an additional $1,000 performance bond.


Police said none of the officers involved in the chase was injured.


While several vehicles reported stolen recently were warming up with the key in the ignition, only one of the vehicles recovered by police during the night shift was left with a key inside. The owners of the other two vehicles reported locking the doors and taking the key with them.