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Story Last modified at 8:55 p.m. on Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Police Briefs

Fake Western Union rep scams Fred Meyer employee out of $24,000

A Fred Meyer loss prevention manager told Anchorage police that someone posing as a Western Union employee stole more than $24,000 from the Eagle River store. The manager reported the fraud on April 1 but it apparently occurred on Feb. 24, according to police. A former Fred Meyer employee was contacted that day by a fictitious Western Union employee who told the employee to resend earlier transactions that hadn't gone through, police spokeswoman Marlene Lammers said. The Fred Meyer employee sent 26 transactions of $950 each to the number provided, Lammers said. Then, the employee told the manager, she got a call from someone pretending to be a Fred Meyer manager telling her she didn't need to keep the receipts for the transactions. The loss-prevention manager interviewed the former employee and was "convinced she didn't have anything to do with it," Lammers said. The store is currently working with Western Union and with police on an investigation, she said.

Fred Meyer spokeswoman Melinda Merrill said the employee was let go over the incident, which she called "a pretty significant violation of our policy in terms of Western Union transactions." Western Union would "never call and try to conduct a transaction over the phone," Merrill said.

Jewel thief ignores real gems

A 39-year-old Birchwood Loop Road resident told Anchorage police that someone burglarized his home during the day on March 31. The man said he came home to find the front door open and a broken window in the door, police spokeswoman Marlene Lammers said. Someone apparently rifled through cabinets in the entry and medicine cabinets upstairs and downstairs, Lammers said. About $2,000 worth of jewelry was stolen from a jewelry box in a bedroom closet, though several expensive items such as an iPad and flat-screen television were left untouched, she said.

Undeclared weapons draw citations

A man carrying a pistol failed to share that information with the Anchorage police officer who stopped him on the Old Glenn Highway for not wearing a seatbelt on March 31. Police cited and released Shane Kirk, 27, of Wasilla for fifth-degree misconduct involving weapons and sixth-degree misconduct involving a controlled substance after the officer also discovered that Kirk had a small amount of marijuana, police spokeswoman Marlene Lammers said.

In a separate incident April 3 on North Eagle River Loop Road, an officer contacted Douglas Means, 18, of Eagle River after he spotted Means on the roadside in an "unusual location for pedestrians," Lammers said. The officer asked Means if he wanted a ride home, Means said he did – and was subsequently cited and released for minor consuming alcohol and misconduct involving weapons after the officer discovered he was intoxicated and carrying metal knuckles.

First clue: driving too slow

Anchorage police said they cited and released David Galbreith, 18, of Eagle River for sixth-degree misconduct involving a controlled substance on April 2 after an officer saw him driving slower than the speed limit on East Eagle River Loop Road. Galbreith then signaled for a turn he didn't make, swerved back into the turn lane and onto the shoulder, then back into the lane and onto the sidewalk, police spokeswoman Marlene Lammers said. The officer smelled marijuana and ultimately cited Galbreith and three passengers for possession.

On April 4, police cited Armando Gonzalez, 30, of Eagle River for sixth-degree misconduct involving a controlled substance after smelling marijuana during a traffic stop on the Old Glenn Highway for very dark tint on the driver's side window, Lammers said. The officer smelled marijuana during the stop, she said.

Next time keep walking

Anchorage police said a 23-year-old Eagle River man told them he was assaulted by a man he didn't know at the Homestead Lounge on April 3. The victim said the fight started after a "pretty girl said something to him" as he was walking out of the bar, possibly angering men she was with, police spokeswoman Marlene Lammers said.

An unidentified male punched the victim repeatedly in the face, resulting in multiple contusions as well as a possibly broken nose, Lammers said. Police have no suspects.

DWI arrests

Anchorage police said they arrested Jason Elledge, 25, of Eagle River for driving under the influence, refusal and sixth-degree misconduct involving a controlled substance on North Eagle River Loop Road on April 2. Police stopped Elledge's Ford pickup for reckless driving. He was lodged at Anchorage Jail in lieu of $500 bail.

Other DWI arrests, according to police:

Archie Thompson, 40, of Eagle River on April 2 on the Old Glenn Highway after callers reported a possibly intoxicated man asking for help starting his vehicle at O'Reilly Auto Parts. Thompson was arrested for driving while license revoked, driving without an ignition interlock device and driving under the influence, police spokeswoman Marlene Lammers said. He was lodged at Anchorage Jail in lieu of $20,000 bail.

Tanya Close, 35, of Anchorage on April 3 on the Old Glenn Highway after police tried to stop her near the Fred Meyer entrance but ended up having to block her in further north on the Old Glenn after she drove over a curb and kept doing, Lammers said. Close was arrested for eluding and DWI and lodged at Anchorage Jail in lieu of $500 bail.

Eric Sala, 27, of Eagle River on April 3 on the Old Glenn Highway after police received reports of an erratic driver on the Glenn Highway at Mirror Lake.

Melissa Perkins, 27, of Wasilla on April 6 on the Glenn Highway at Eklutna Village Road after police received reports of a vehicle swerving and drifting from lane to lane inbound on the Glenn. Perkins said she was under the influence of prescription medication, Lammers said. She was lodged at Anchorage Jail in lieu of $250 bail.



This article published in The Alaska Star on Wednesday, April 13, 2011.

Charges are merely accusations; defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty in at trial or until a plea of guilty is accepted by the courts.