Suspects arrested in connection with a Nov. 11 armed robbery at a Kasilof gas station told friends they were going to Soldotna to buy cigarettes and transmission fluid, when they instead drove to TJ Seggy’s, held up a clerk and stole approximately $265, according to an Alaska State Troopers report.
A Kenai grand jury indicted Jeremy Estes, 23, and Frank Bush, 19, both of Kasilof, on charges of first-degree robbery, third-degree assault and tampering with physical evidence on Friday. The indictment followed an Alaska State Troopers investigation that uncovered suspect tire tracks and footprints near the gas station and a surveillance tape that showed a man armed with a shotgun enter the station between 8 a.m. and 8:30 on Nov. 11.
With the help of a witness who spotted the suspect vehicle parked near the gas station during the robbery, troopers identified the vehicle as a 1988 gray Nissan belonging to Shane Witcher, age unknown.
When troopers spoke with Witcher, he said he had heard about the robbery and suspected his vehicle had been involved when his girlfriend, Danyelle Garrett, left with the vehicle the Nov. 10 and he did not hear back from her until Nov. 11, when she called him to say she was at Bush’s residence and the car was not running.
Witcher had his vehicle towed to TJ Seggy’s, where investigator Mark Pearson matched the tires to the suspect tire tracks found at the south end of the gas station’s parking lot alongside a stand of trees.
When troopers interviewed Garrett she said that Estes and Bush left in Witcher’s car, saying they were headed for Soldotna for cigarettes and transmission fluid, but when they returned around 10 a.m. said the car was off the road on North Coho Loop Road.
On Nov. 12 troopers arrested Estes, who told them that he and Bush were planning to buy food at the gas station when they instead hatched a plan to steal money that they would later spend on drugs. According to troopers reports Estes said he covered his face with a torn T-shirt and entered the store with a shotgun where he demanded money, told the clerk to get on the floor and not call the police or she would be harmed.
Patrice Kohl can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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