Midtown Fred Meyer hosts APD's largest-yet 'retail blitz'
Anchorage police have taken more than two dozen people into custody during the latest of its “retail blitz” operations at a large local store, the third to host one of the undercover stings.
Police announced the 25 arrests Friday, following a Thursday operation in which plainclothes officers backed up loss prevention staff at the Fred Meyer store on Northern Lights Boulevard. A total of 21 people were arrested on theft counts involving at least $1,600 in stolen goods, at least $1,500 of which was recovered, with four more people picked up on non-theft charges.
The latest sweep is the third conducted at a Fred Meyer location in Southcentral Alaska, after police inaugurated the tactic in December at the chain’s Abbott Road store in a six-arrest sweep. Alaska State Troopers netted nine people at Wasilla’s Fred Meyer in a January blitz. The region’s most recent operation occurred in February, when APD arrested 17 people in a sting at the Walmart on DeBarr Road.
A few of Thursday’s higher-profile cases mentioned by APD include:
Thomas Dickson, 33, allegedly stole a bicycle and rode it from the store toward Fireweed Lane. Police say he began to pedal faster as a police cruiser pursued him; when another APD vehicle blocked his path at 22nd Avenue, he “refused to stop, rode into the side of the officer’s vehicle and fell off the stolen bike.” Dickson was unhurt and arrested for theft, but the vehicle he struck was damaged.
Jafra White, 34, was arrested for theft, as well as contributing to the delinquency of a minor and violating her conditions of release, after police said White and a 13-year-old girl “stole $103.86 of food items.” The girl was also arrested, then released to her parents.
Larry Mayfield, 57, was arrested in the theft of $288.56 of merchandise. He also faces one count of failing to register as a sex offender. The state’s sex-offender registry shows him convicted of a 2004 attempted sexual assault in Anchorage.
Osum Griffin, 35, and Kyle Paye, 32, were arrested after police said Griffin “stole three cans of spray paint, concealed the merchandise and ran from officers towards Paye who was waiting in a getaway vehicle.” Griffin was held on charges of theft, resisting arrest and violating conditions of his release; Paye was held on two counts of weapons misconduct, as a felon in possession of a weapon who failed to notify officers he had a handgun.
Here’s a look at the theft suspects, items and amounts APD mentioned Friday, grouped under Fred Meyer’s departments:
Cody McElroy, 33: $54.99 of shoes
Nicholas Smith, 34: $52.50 of shoes
Aaron Sumstad, 39: $48.25 of fake fingernails
Tianna Ray, 23: $337.15 of merchandise
Larry Mayfield, 57: $288.56 of merchandise
Jeanette Karasti, 37: $221.22 of merchandise
John Dahlquist, 50: $87.87 of merchandise
Rhaylene Lind, 42: $47.83 of merchandise
Russell Ambacher, 24: $40.55 of merchandise
Jafra White, 34, and a 13-year-old juvenile: $103.86 of food items
Antonio Dukes, 41: $11.26 of food
Somer Busby-White, 20: $6.59 of food
Andres Slats, 20: $5.48 of food
Robert May, 20: $34.99 comforter
Osum Griffin, 35: three cans of spray paint
Alajuwan Felths, 20: $22.98 of anti-freeze
Ralph Clairmont, 44: $13.69 of alcohol
Arthur Solomon, 30, and Trent Semaken, 28: $215.17 of food and sporting merchandise
Thomas Dickson, 33: stolen bicycle
Other non-theft arrests beyond Paye included 39-year-old Dusty Starr and 29-year-old Kyle Plouvier, who were picked up on warrants from previous theft and trespass charges respectively after store employees recognized them.
The last suspect, 28-year-old Lindy Bowie, was one of 10 people arrested in 24 hours by APD’s Investigative Support Unit on an array of charges in January. She was taken into custody on warrants for promoting contraband and failing to appear in court on a charge of operating under the influence, plus two new counts of misconduct involving controlled substances.
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