Police connect vehicle thefts, armed robberies

Posted: Sunday, August 17, 2003

Three Wednesday morning vehicle thefts in Kenai involve suspects in two Wednesday night armed robberies in Soldotna, police said Friday.

Within 30 minutes Wednesday morning, Kenai police received reports that a 1995 green Ford Taurus, a 1992 blue Chevrolet Cavalier and a 1984 red Ford F250 pickup were stolen.

The Cavalier was found stuck in the middle of the motocross track at Twin Cities Raceway before the pickup was reported stolen.

The pickup was filled with hunting gear when it was stolen. The truck was recovered on Auk Street later that evening, minus the hunting equipment.

A police investigation led Kenai and Soldotna police as well as Alaska State Troopers and Adult Probations officers to a residence on Lawton Drive where some of the hunting gear was recovered, according to Kenai Police Lt. Kim Wannamaker.

While there, Soldotna police arrested Michael Freeman, 19, of Soldotna, on an outstanding warrant. He was not implicated in the vehicle thefts or the robberies.

A 17-year-old male, however, was arrested in conjunction with the vehicle thefts, and police have identified suspects linked to the thefts and the robberies.

Two people were robbed in Soldotna in two separate incidents an hour apart Wednesday night.

Three males in a car allegedly took $200 from a man near the Soldotna water tower above Marydale Avenue.

The man was treated for defensive knife wounds at Central Peninsula General Hospital and was released.

An hour later, at about midnight, a 23-year-old woman reported that the same men robbed her of $800 when she was in their vehicle somewhere between the Kenai River Center and the Soldotna Safeway. An initial report stated the female was a teenager.

The woman reportedly knew one of the men and had gotten in the vehicle to talk with him. The other two allegedly robbed her and forced her to get out of the car. She was not injured.

Soldotna Police Sgt. Todd McGillivray said Friday that arrests are pending in the assault and robbery crimes.

Police are still looking for the green Ford Taurus. At the time of the theft, it had Alaska license plates CWV238.

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