Cuts lead to charges in Fireweed pawn shop robbery
Two men arrested in a traffic stop stand accused of robbing a Midtown pawn shop late last month – with one recovering from injuries matching those suffered by the suspects.
Jasten Fujishiro, 21, and Terrance Paleka Jr., 28, are each charged with one count of robbery and seven counts of second-degree theft in the April 24 robbery of the Cash America Pawn store on the 200 block of Fireweed Lane. Fujishiro also faces a second robbery count.
According to a criminal complaint against Fujishiro and Paleka, written by Assistant District Attorney John Haley, they were part of a three-person crew which stormed the store on the 200 block of Fireweed Lane at about 7:15 p.m. on April 24. The men, whom Haley described as “masked Samoan males,” broke open jewelry cases to take jewelry and eight pistols.
“The men yelled at customers to get on the ground,” Haley wrote. “One of the men fired a shot in the store. Two men then began to smash jewelry and gun cases with the butt of their weapons. The individuals cut their hands/wrists while doing this and blood was left behind in the store.”
Police caught up with Fujishiro and Paleka on Tuesday, when Haley said officers tried to stop a stolen vehicle. The men allegedly ran from it, but were quickly arrested.
Paleka refused to talk about the stolen vehicle, but confessed to participating in the Cash America Pawn robbery.
Fujishiro, who was arrested carrying one of the guns stolen from the shop, matched witnesses’ description of one of the suspects. He initially claimed to have bought the gun a year ago, Haley said – but after being informed it was stolen and shown video of the robbery, he “changed his story and said that he bought the pistol from a man named ‘Ghost’ approximately 10 days ago.”
“In addition, Fujishiro had large cut marks on his hand and wrist, that had largely healed, but that had become infected,” Haley wrote. “These cuts matched the injuries from the robbery.”
APD spokeswoman Kendra Doshier said Thursday that police don’t have any identity or description available of the third suspect in the robbery.
“The investigation's still open just now,” Doshier said.
Anyone with information on the third suspect should call APD at 311, or contact Anchorage Crime Stoppers at 907-561-STOP or through its website.
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