Multiple Anchorage car dealerships hit in recent burglaries
Multiple Anchorage car dealerships and a midtown car repair shop have been hit by burglars in the past two weeks, and Anchorage Police are encouraging businesses that don't already have security cameras set up, to do so.
Police spokesman MJ Thim said the most recent of the break-ins, at Midas located at 711 East Northern Lights Blvd., was reported at 5:01 a.m. Wednesday. One of the garage doors were opened and a GMC pickup belonging to Midas had been stolen from inside. Matcom dispatch alerted APD at 10:28 p.m. saying the pickup was located in the Valley.
Also, early Wednesday morning, it was reported the Kendall Toyota dealership at 6930 Old Seward Hwy. was burglarized around 1:30. Responding officers found a number of missing car keys, but were still investigating whether any had been used to steal vehicles.
“We got a call from someone who saw two people on the property acting suspiciously,” Thim said. “We don’t know if anything else was taken, but we are investigating to determine what was taken.”
The burglary came less than 24 hours after another Kendall location, Kendall Auto Alaska at 110 N. Wrangell St., was reportedly hit by burglars. An initial report, at 3:11 a.m., indicated that a vehicle had been driven through a fence on the property.
“Multiple vehicle keys and vehicles were missing,” Thim wrote in an email. “Detectives are still working with the owners to determine the exact amount stolen as well as the make and models.”
Thim said a third business, the Lithia Kia dealership on the 4400 block of Old Seward, was hit at about 3:30 a.m. on Sept. 16. Two suspects in sweatshirts – described by police as Alaska Native, black or Samoan males, both of average height and weight – were seen on surveillance video inside the business.
“The men stole keys to several vehicles along with tools, a laptop, a cash drawer and a jacket,” Thim wrote. “Outside, the burglars used a customer’s vehicle to ram a fence; once the fence was down, the men stole two customers’ vehicles that were on the lot to be serviced.”
Although officers are seeking and reviewing additional surveillance video, Thim said the cases are still considered separate.
“We don’t have any evidence at this point linking any of these investigations,” Thim wrote. “They are similar in pattern and method.”
Lithia Dodge was hit on Sept. 9 at 5:19 a.m. A suspect stole several keys, used a Jeep to break through the barrier to the parking lot, and then took off in a Dodge Charger that belonged to a customer. Three days later the car was found at 10:12 PM set on fire at a church on Eureka Street.
None of the cases shared any obvious links with a Sept. 14 series of east Anchorage vandalism cases, in which a vehicle was driven into the front doors of at least three financial institutions.
Thim said Wednesday that several other locations had also been hit during that string of calls, including a bank at which surveillance video showed a red extended-cab pickup truck smashing into the front doors. Nothing had been taken from any of them, however, and none of those cases were yet believed to be connected.
Police are asking anyone with information on any of the burglary or vandalism cases to call dispatchers 907-786-8900. Tips can also be submitted anonymously to Anchorage Crime Stoppers at 907-561-STOP, or through its website.
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