Anchorage Police say thieves have found a way to easily steal late '90s model Subarus.

According to a statement from APD, suspects are filing down keys and using them to open doors and start the vehicles.  

Pictured below are multiple keys that were found on Lydia Barce, 25, who was arrested for vehicle theft on Saturday. Police believe the keys are connected to other investigations. 

Anchorage Police say suspects are shaving or filing down keys and using them to open the doors and start late 1990’s model Subarus. (Credit: Anchorage Police Department)


Police say Barce was arrested for vehicle theft in the first- second- and fourth-degrees on Saturday after she was caught inside a 1991 red Subaru Legacy early Saturday morning. Around 3:30, an officer spotted the stolen vehicle in the parking lot of the Alex Hotel on the 4600 block of Spenard Road. Barce was in the driver's seat. 

Here is a list of six other vehicle theft arrests made since Friday by officers with the Patrol Division and detectives with Property Crimes Unit, according to APD:

Chelsey Sallaffie, 24

Around 3:15 p.m. police responded to the 3900 block of Oregon Drive for a report of a reckless driver on Friday. Officers spotted 24-year-old Sallaffie inside a red Chevy pickup that was reported stolen. 

"Sallaffie was screaming and being uncooperative with officers while being detained. She was kicking at officers and spit in one officer’s face," APD wrote. "Officers also discovered she was wanted for a hit and run collision that occurred earlier that day at 5th Avenue & Cordova Street."

She was arrested for vehicle theft in the first-degree, leaving the scene of an accident, reckless driving, harassment in the first-degree, assault in the fourth-degree, theft in second-degree and resisting arrest. 

Mary Waskey, 34

On Saturday around 3:15 p.m., police responded to the 7500 block of Boundary Avenue to recover a stolen 1999 green Subaru. Waskey was inside the vehicle when they arrived. 

She was arrested for vehicle theft in the first-degree and theft in the second-degree.

Gwendalyn Brooks, 30

Around 1:50 p.m. on Sunday, police ran a license plate on a 1987 gray Toyota pickup in the Airport Heights area which came up as stolen. Police attempted a traffic stop on Brooks but she refused to pull over. 

"When officers finally stopped the vehicle, Brooks exited and started to run; she was apprehended and the passengers were called out of the truck," police wrote. "Brooks was uncooperative when being questioned by police. She was taken into custody as well as the other passengers. Through the investigation, there was enough evidence to confirm that Brooks had stolen another vehicle as well – a 2005 red Chevy pickup that had been reported stolen the day before."

She was arrested on two counts of vehicle theft in the first-degree, two counts of theft in the second-degree, eluding and resisting arrest. 

Tashia Lee Seton, 27

The 27-year-old was a passenger in a stolen gray pickup with Brooks. She was found in possession of meth. 

She was arrested on misconduct involving a controlled substance in the second-degree, criminal mischief in the fifth-degree and an existing misdemeanor warrant for fail to appear.

Florence Giannini, 50

The 50-year-old was also a passenger of Brooks. She was arrested for criminal mischief in the fifth-degree.

Joseph Artz, 31

On Sunday Artz was spotted by police Sunday afternoon, just before 4 o'clock. 

"...officers with the Patrol Division located a stolen vehicle in the Carrs parking lot (5600 Debarr Rd.) The vehicle, a 2003 blue Toyota Four Runner, was unoccupied," police wrote. "When Artz returned to the vehicle, he was taken into custody."

He was arrested for vehicle theft in the first-degree and theft in the second-degree. 

For tips on vehicle theft prevention, click here.

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