Suspect arrested in Anchorage gun-store theft
One of two suspects has been arrested on federal and state charges linked to the theft of three dozen firearms from an Anchorage gun store last week, after he allegedly jumped from a second-story window to avoid capture.
Seth Kaufman, 31, is federally charged with possession of stolen firearms and stealing firearms involved in interstate or foreign commerce, following a break-in early Sept. 7 at EDC Alaska on Northern Lights Boulevard. Anchorage police spokesman MJ Thim said he was also charged with state offenses including first-degree burglary and theft.
Police also released a brief clip Thursday of surveillance video from the break-in on Facebook.
In a criminal complaint against Kaufman, Sarah Foreman – a special agent with the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives – said EDC Alaska employees told police about a suspicious Sept. 5 visit by two men who arrived in a black pickup truck.
Foreman said one of the men, identified by a law-enforcement officer as Kaufman based on surveillance video, looked at guns and said he wanted to buy some, but “his wallet was in his vehicle, which had been seized by police.” Kaufman’s vehicle had been seized by Anchorage police on Aug. 25.
Video footage of the break-in showed two people in a black pickup truck backing up to the building, then getting out to enter the store. Both were wearing black hooded jackets and gloves.
Investigators got a break in the case when they were contacted Saturday by a tipster, who said Kaufman and another man had visited him in a black pickup truck and offered to sell him “a bag full of firearms.” The tipster had seen news stories about the EDC Alaska burglary, however, and refused.
Anchorage police caught up with Kaufman Sunday night near the Motel 6 on A Street, after Foreman said he “fled out the second-story window of room 209.”
"When officers arrived and attempted to contact the suspect, he jumped out of the window and attempted to flee," Thim wrote. "The K-9 unit pursued the suspect and apprehended him a short distance away. He was taken into custody and arrested."
Foreman said officers also found a Fabrique Nationale SCAR 7.62mm rifle, along with three pistols, wrapped in a towel under a window of the motel.
“All four firearms were reported as stolen in the burglary,” Foreman wrote.
EDC Alaska staff hadn’t heard word Thursday on any other weapons from the burglary being recovered.
Chloe Martin, a spokeswoman for Acting U.S. Attorney Bryan Schroder’s office, didn’t immediately have word Thursday on the status of the other weapons or whether anyone else may face charges in the incident.
Police are asking the second suspect in the case to turn himself in, and a combined $10,000 in reward money remains available for information leading to an arrest in the case. Police are taking information at 907-786-8900; tips can also be submitted to Anchorage Crime Stoppers at 907-561-STOP or its website.