Anchorage police say they are looking for a man believed to have fled a burning vehicle and then tried to steal a driver’s car at gunpoint.

Shortly before 8 a.m. this morning, authorities responded to a vehicle fire at the corner of Northern Lights Boulevard and Wesleyan Drive.

Not long after arriving at the scene, police received a 911 call from a citizen who said he had picked up a male in his car about two blocks away — in the area of Northern Lights and Boniface Parkway, according to a statement from Anchorage Police Department spokesperson Renee Oistad. Anchorage police say they believe the male who was picked up came from the burning vehicle — which was a 1995 Jeep Cherokee.

The citizen said he and the male suspect drove to the McDonald’s parking lot near the intersection of DeBarr Road and Boniface, where the suspect pulled out a gun and tried to take the driver’s car.

The driver refused to give up his car, and the suspect then ran away toward the Nunaka Valley subdivision. The driver was not injured, police say.

“Police notified schools and formed a perimeter, bringing in K-9 to conduct a track, but were ultimately unsuccessful in locating the suspect,” Oistad wrote. Nearby Nunaka Valley Elementary School went into “stay-put mode” for part of the morning, the Anchorage School District said.

“Unfortunately, we were unable to catch up with the suspect at that time, but we are currently following up on leads as to his identity,” Oistad said in an interview.

The Jeep is registered to a woman who was trying to sell the SUV, according to police. She was in the process of selling the car, but whether or not the suspect was the buyer is unclear.

The suspect is described as about 5-foot-5 and in his late 20s with dark hair and a close-cropped haircut. APD asks anyone with information to contact them.

KTVA11’s Eric Ruble and Hope Miller contributed to this report. 

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