Thefts, chase keep Soldotna police busy

Posted: Thursday, March 18, 2010

Thefts and a high-speed chase kept the Soldotna Police Department busy recently.

At about noon on March 9, police arrested Wendy Logan, 49, for second-degree theft. Logan, of Soldotna, had been a patient at Central Peninsula Hospital, where she decided to steal two telephones valued at $452.60.

Nearly a week later, police arrested Cleveland N. Hipp, Jr., 55, of Soldotna, on theft charges, alleging he assisted Logan in the crime.

Sgt. Tony Garcia, SPD's spokesman, said police identified Logan and Hipp after looking at hospital surveillance footage. The video showed Logan unplugged the phones from the wall, put them in a dark sack and handed them to Hipp, who walked them out the of building.

Logan did not tell police why she took the phones. Both Logan and Hipp have previously been convicted of theft. Garcia said he did not know if the two have ever worked together in a crime. Both were taken to Wildwood Pretrial Facility and held without bail.

On the evening of March 9, police arrested two shoplifters at Fred Meyer. Kristi R Cortez, 21, of Anchor Point, and a 14-year-old female from Anchor Point stole $728 worth of merchandise.

Garcia said they primarily took DVDs and clothing items. Cortez took $460 worth of stuff and the minor stole the remainder, according to Garcia. Cortez was taken to Wildwood and held without bail on second-degree theft charges. Police released the minor to her family and forwarded a theft charge to Juvenile Intake.

On March 13, Garcia found himself in a high-speed chase. The officer attempted to pull over Gregory D. Kalar, 35, of Soldotna, for a traffic violation shortly before midnight, but Kalar wouldn't stop. Garcia chased Kalar, who was driving a 1979 El Camino, down Kobuk Street. The chase, which reached speeds of 50 miles per hour in a 25 mph zone, eventually caused Kalar to "careen out of control" into the Kenai Peninsula Borough Building parking lot, Garcia said.

Kalar jumped out of the car and tried to hide in a shed. The El Camino kept going with no one at the wheel and crashed into the woods on Shady Lane across from the borough building.

Kalar told police he attempted to flee because he was driving without a valid license. Police arrested him on charges of resisting arrest and driving with a suspended license. Kalar was taken to Wildwood and held without bail.

Andrew Waite can be reached at

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