ANCHORAGE (KTUU) - More than two dozen people were arrested in a two-day operation carried out by Anchorage police, specifically targeting stolen vehicles.
Clockwise from top: recovered firearms, controlled substances, and roadside arrests. APD photos.
According to the Anchorage Police Department, 25 people in total were arrested on October 3 and 4.
These arrests were made primarily on charges of stolen vehicles, but also expanded to existing warrants of those contacted, as well as illegal objects found in the stolen vehicles, specifically, guns and drugs.
In a statement, APD called it an "under cover stolen vehicle sweep" designed to put "an intense focus on stolen vehicles and catching the suspects connected to the crime and related crimes such as drugs, mail theft, fraud and other property crimes."
Police say, on average, about 10 vehicles are stolen every day in Anchorage.
Some highlights noted by APD in its news release include a seizure of 12 guns, 12 grams of methamphetamine, and 12 stolen vehicles.
Those identified by APD in the arrest include:
- William Teal, 53. Vehicle Theft 1, Theft 3 and Theft 4.
- Johnathan Hughes, 34. Outstanding warrant for Drug Conspiracy, Misconduct Involving a Controlled Substance 4.
- Arielle Homes, 29. Vehicle Theft 1 and Theft 2
- Dana Hite, 44. Misconduct Involving a Weapon 2 & 3, Misconduct Involving a Controlled Substance 4 and Criminal Mischief 5.
- Yako Andrew, 28. Charges: Felon in Possession
- Thomas Terwilinger, 35. Vehicle Theft 1, Theft 1, Resisting Arrest and Concealing the ID of a vehicle.
- Kalea Belknap, 31. Criminal Mischief 5.
- Jose Galavan Jr., 44. Misconduct Involving a Weapon 3, Criminal Mischief 5 and Probation Violation.
- Alyssa Jacoy, 29. Criminal Mischief 5 (Joy Riding).
- Melissa Charles, 26. Criminal Mischief 5 and Probation Violation
- Kyle Paye, 32. Vehicle Theft 1, Misconduct Involving a Controlled Substance 2 and Felon in Possession.
- David Diamond, 39. Two outstanding misdemeanor warrants.
- Aaron Carr, 34. Vehicle Theft 1, Misconduct Involving a Controlled Substance and Theft 1.
- Sabrina Rivera, 40. Two outstanding warrants.
The arrests were carried out by multiple units of APD, including the Patrol Division, Investigative Support Unit (ISU), Community Action Policing (CAP), VICE and Property Crimes Detectives.
APD says sweeps that focus on specific crimes, like its previous efforts to stop thieves from shoplifting, yield big results. Asselin says he expects more of these targeted enforcement sweeps, but declined to say what the officers would focus on.
For several months now there has been a community uproar over the rash of stolen vehicles.
"It is still an issue of great concern to our community," Asselin said. "We're happy to say that in the past three months the numbers have trended down as compared to previous years, so that's a positive sign, but we're going to continue to look at the coming months to see if that was a trend or was it a small blip."
The FBI’s Safe Streets Team, Department of Homeland Security, Drug Enforcement Administration, Alaska State Troopers, and the United States Postal Service also assisted APD in this investigation, the department stated.