'Dope man' held, woman flees in fur-coat fracas
It's not often that a store owner catches a shoplifter red-handed, but it happened this week at a downtown fur shop.
Eldridge Bradley II, 30, was in custody Thursday, two days after police say he and a woman tried to steal a jacket from the Alaska Fur Gallery on 4th Avenue.
So why isn't the woman in custody?
On Tuesday, store owner Manuel Hernandez says Bradley and a woman walked into his shop. Soon afterward, the woman tried to walk out wearing a jacket worth $6,500.
"When I gave him the price, he goes, 'Honey, you want it, just go ahead and go,' -- and she started to walk out the door," Hernandez said. "And he turns around and looks at me and goes, 'I'm the dope man.' I said, 'You might be the dope man, I don't care if you're the vice president; you're not leaving with this coat.'"
Hernandez says he chased after the woman.
"She ran, he came over here stood in front of the door, barricading the door. He pushed me, I kind of shoved him out of the way," Hernandez said of Bradley.
As for the woman, Hernandez says he thought he'd caught her.
"I hugged her, I just gave her a bear hug, and I looked at her and I said, 'Somebody call the police,'" Hernandez said. "But I turned around and an officer who happened to be driving by, he turned on the siren. I let her go, thinking she was done; she took off and started running."
Hernandez's coat is now back on the rack, and luckily no one was hurt. But if it were to happen again, Hernandez says he wouldn't hesitate to spring into action.
"We might be armed, we might not," Hernandez said. "It's a family-owned business and we take it to heart. If somebody does that to us, we're going to do whatever we can to get it back."
According to Anchorage police, Bradley was remanded at the Anchorage Jail on three existing felony warrants. He was also charged with two counts each of second-degree robbery and theft, plus single counts of fourth-degree assault and resisting arrest.
Alaska Fur Gallery employees say they think they've found the woman on Facebook, and have reported her name to police.
APD spokeswoman Renee Oistad says police have not yet filed charges against a woman in the Alaska Fur Gallery case -- but that Bradley and the same woman also robbed the Sunglass Hut at the 5th Avenue Mall the same way Tuesday, walking out of the store wearing sunglasses without paying for them.
Editor's note: An initial version of this story stated the value of the coat as $650, not $6,500.
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