Six charged in Mat-Su thefts

Posted: Friday, January 24, 2003

ANCHORAGE (AP) -- Six people connected to burglaries or thefts in the Matanuska-Susitna Borough have been arrested since Sunday, including three charged with firing shots an attempted home invasion.

John L. Burk, 18, Wasilla, along with a 15-year-old boy and a 13-year-old boy, were arrested Wednesday and charged with attempted murder, burglary, criminal mischief, misconduct involving weapons, misconduct involving a controlled substance and conspiracy. Both juveniles are from Wasilla.

Troopers said they responded with Wasilla police and Palmer police at 2:40 a.m. Wednesday to a report of a home invasion in Wasilla.

Harriette Viets, 80, reported that she confronted three males dressed in black who were attempting to break into her home. The three fled but fired multiple gunshots toward the home, troopers said.

Burk and the two juveniles were arrested shortly afterward.

Troopers said the three were connected to a break-in with major damage and a theft at another Wasilla home. Troopers said prescription OxyCotin, a painkiller pill, was stolen and the home suffered $20,000 in damage.

The three also are suspects in 10 other burglaries or thefts, troopers said, some with major damage to homes and property stolen in excess of $10,000.

On Sunday, Earl L. Smith, 33, of Anchorage was charged with theft by receiving after his vehicle was stopped by the Palmer Police Department for a traffic violation.

Troopers said Smith was carrying a snowmobile stolen during a Big Lake burglary on Nov. 24, plus a second snowmobile reported stolen in Anchorage on Aug. 14, 2000. Together, the snowmobiles were valued at more than $10,000.

Smith was jailed with bail set at $15,000.

At about 2:05 a.m. Tuesday, troopers and Palmer police responded to a 911 call regarding an attempted burglary in Palmer.

After 90 minutes of tracking in snow, officer arrested Shane A. Martin, 25, and Anthony D. Hanson, 22, both of Wasilla, and charged them with attempted burglary and misconduct involving a controlled substance.

Troopers said Martin and Hanson had fled on foot prior to the officers' arrival and were followed with help from a Forward Looking Infrared device, a hand-held device belonging to the Palmer Police Department that detects heat.

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