ANCHORAGE (KTUU) - Although federal authorities didn't charge him with doing the carjacking himself, one man was arrested in February after police found him in a vehicle they say was forcibly taken at gunpoint just hours earlier.
The incident and arrest date back to mid-February, when Anchorage Police Department officers arrested 20-year-old Steven McComas for first degree vehicle theft and fleeing from officers. A additional federal charges were officially filed last week against McComas.
The primary incident began when APD officers responded to a reported carjacking of a Domino's Pizza delivery driver.
According to the signed affidavit, at around 1:40 a.m. on Feb. 10, four armed suspects pulled the Domino's driver out of his car at gunpoint in the area of 8440 Crystal Street. There, the four individuals took the driver's cell phone, $80 in cash, and the vehicle itself, a white 2007 Dodge Nitro.
Later that same morning, police located the vehicle near Elmore Road and Martin Luther King, Jr. Avenue, an intersection mere blocks away from the Anchorage Police Department's headquarters. The driver "took off at a high rate of speed in an attempt to elude the pursuing officers."
Some time later, APD stopped the vehicle at 68th and Brayton, and found Steven McComas inside the vehicle with two female juvenile passengers. He was arrested, according to court records, for first degree vehicle theft and fleeing from an officer.
Those charges were worsened, according to the affidavit, when officers observed a spent shell casing on the floor of the vehicle, and what appeared to be the muzzle of a firearm behind the seats.
Police questioned McComas, as well as the two girls in the car. McComas reportedly told police he knew the car was stolen, and that a friend had given it to him. The weapon, a Kel-Tec rifle, was fired earlier that morning by McComas, he told officers.
Days later, APD got a search warrant to check McComas' cell phone for evidence. There, they reportedly found photos and videos from the morning of the carjacking, showing McComas inside the vehicle at 2 a.m., just 20 minutes after the reported carjacking took place.
The photos and videos displayed McComas holding a Glock pistol in the passenger seat, as well as posing with the Kel-Tec rifle. According to a special agent with the ATF, the Kel-Tec rifle in question "if this firearm was received and/or possessed in the State of Alaska, then it had to have traveled in, and affected, interstate commerce as defined in Title 18 U.S.C."
Similar "interstate commerce" violations have resulted in other cases of elevated charges in Alaska, including one in which suspects allegedly held a coffee cart at gunpoint.
Due to this, not only does McComas face the charges recommended by police of first degree vehicle theft and fleeing from officers, but also a federal-level charge, as, "It shall be unlawful for any person who has been convicted in any court of a crime punishable by imprisonment for a term exceeding one year...to possess...any firearm or ammunition...which has been shipped or transported in interstate or foreign commerce."