Anchorage police announce arrests related to recent vehicle thefts, burglaries
Six Anchorage residents have been indicted on 30 counts related to numerous vehicle thefts and burglaries that occurred in late-March of this year.
The announcement was made Monday at a joint press conference between the Anchorage Police Department and the Anchorage District Attorney’s office.
Four men and two women are named in the indictment. The men named, Usugafono Palauni, 23, a.k.a “Shalom” or “Baloney”; Faamolemole Uiese, 26, a.k.a. “Smokey”; David Ekeroma Fatialofa, 26, a.k.a. “Tavita”; and Fale Junior Moevao, 30, a.k.a. “Mako,” are currently in custody.
The two women named, Desiree Osburn, 32, and Joslyn Pagaduan, 32, face first-degree charges of hindering the prosecution and are wanted by police.
APD is asking anyone with information related to the women wanted in the case to call 907-786-8900.
The men in custody face multiple counts related to vehicle theft and burglary. Prosecutors allege the men stole four vehicles over 11 days in late-March and used them to rob multiple businesses in Anchorage and Eagle River.
“They are charged with using the vehicles to drive to and burglarize 12 different businesses in Anchorage and Eagle River, and with stealing thousands of dollars of property in the burglaries,” police wrote in a Monday release.
After noticing an increase in vehicle thefts, the district attorney’s office began working alongside APD to come up with an explanation.
“In February, March in particular our office noticed that we had seen double the number of cases, either referred or charged, in our office for vehicle theft,” District Attorney Clint Campion stated at the press conference. “We understood at that point that we needed to take a different approach to vehicle thefts.”
Police and prosecutors said “hundreds of hours” were spent on the investigation. Assistant District Attorney James Klugman was assigned to the case and presented the 30-count indictment to the Anchorage Grand Jury last week.
The four men named in the indictment were arrested on separate charges “sometime in early May” and have additional charges pending, according to Klugman.
Officials thanked local business owners who were burglarized for coming forward, sharing surveillance video and working with police and prosecutors on the case.
Access to Police Scanners
Tolley also addressed the decision to turn off public access to police scanners.
“Originally, the scanner was turned off because of events like this,” said Tolley, referring to the string of vehicle thefts and burglaries earlier this year. “We knew that criminals were using the scanner for tactical advantage.”
He also cited the possible release of a victim’s private information as reason for turning off the feed. Tolley said he challenged information technology personnel at APD, the municipality and major news organizations in Anchorage to come up with a way to broadcast the scanner without sending out personal information.
“It’s a bit frustrating, you know, we want the community to be informed and well aware of what’s going on each and every day, because ultimately we want their help. But we have to protect victims’ rights and we have to abide by the law,” added Tolley.
The scanners have been turned off multiple times since January. Police have cited maintenance as well as “ongoing investigations” as reason for the outages. In a letter sent to major Anchorage news outlets on Aug. 5, municipal manager Mike Abbott announced the municipality would “fully encrypt all public safety radio communications.”
“We’ve yet, together as a community, come up with a solution,” said Tolley.
This is a developing story; please check back for updates.
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