The man suspected of breaking into three homes in Juneau on Monday was wanted by police for property theft crimes.
The Juneau Police Department said it had been looking for Joseph A.S. Allen for more than a week when the three break-ins were reported on Monday in the valley. Police linked the 29-year-old, whom they had described as armed and dangerous, to Monday’s spree as a “person of interest,” and arrested him Tuesday evening on unrelated charges.
“We had been looking for him for several days in connection with other cases before the incidents of the 26th,” said JPD Lt. Kris Sell, one of the investigating officers. “When he became a person of interest (in connection with Monday’s incidents), then we really wanted to find him.”
Allen appeared in district court Wednesday for an arraignment, his first court appearance. He faces one count of first-degree burglary and two counts second-degree theft, all felony charges, in connection with an incident on Dec. 19.
Juneau District Court Judge Thomas Nave set bail at $10,000, and appointed the Public Defender Agency to represent him. Allen told the judge he was not currently employed and had not worked a steady job for about a year and a half.
Prosecutors allege Allen stole items, including a CZ 375 Safari H&H 500 Rifle with a Leupold scope, 150 rounds of ammo, and two Wells Fargo check books, from a local couple’s house on Dec. 19, according to charging documents.
An affidavit filed Tuesday says the man who filed the report, Erik Anderson, told JPD an unknown man had entered his residence and he had chased the man down his driveway. The unknown man drove away in his vehicle, but Anderson gave police a description of the man, what he was wearing and the license plate number.
Erik and Honey Bee Anderson reported to police the stolen items had a total value of about $3,840, according to the affidavit.
That same day, Allen attempted to cash a $4,500 check from Honey Bee at the valley Wells Fargo, and to also deposit $100 into his own account, the affidavit alleges. The branch manager of the bank became suspicious and called Honey Bee, who informed him her checks had been stolen earlier that day, the affidavit says.
At that time, Allen left the bank, but a bank employee followed him and got the license plate number, the document read.
The next day, another caller reported a car with the same license plate number the Andersons gave police had been parked on his property for two days. Police obtained a search warrant for the vehicle, and found a red-billed baseball hat and a tan jacket that matched the Andersons’ description of what the burglar was wearing.
The Wells Fargo employee later identified Allen as the man who tried the cash the suspicious check in a photo lineup, the affidavit states.
If convicted, Allen could face up to 10 years in jail and a $100,000 fine for the first-degree burglary charge, a class ‘B’ felony; and up to five years in a jail and a $50,000 fine for each of the two second-degree theft charges, a class ‘C’ felony.
Police say the investigation of Monday’s break-ins — or, more technically, one home invasion robbery and vehicle theft, one burglary and one criminal trespass — is still ongoing. Charges have not been filed in those cases as of Wednesday afternoon.
“We have not charged him with any of those things yet. We’re looking at the whole picture of what we’ve got going on,” Sell said.
She added, “We’re trying to link our cases together and see what our total charges might be and to see if a new case pops up. ... We’ll also see if we have a connection to a case that we didn’t even know (about).”
Police said earlier in a release that on Monday, a man had broken into a 31-year-old woman’s house on Thunder Street, pushed her to the floor and pointed a rifle at her. The woman managed to get away, and ran to a neighbor’s house for help, the statement said. Police confirmed Wednesday there were small children in the house at the time of the attack.
The man stole her purse and drove away in her vehicle, police said.
Sell said Wednesday it appears the man’s intention was not sexual. She also added the attacker and the victim did not appear to know each other.
“We have no indication they knew each other,” she said. “I don’t know that any of them knew each other.”
Court records show Allen lived in the 8100 block of Thunder Street in May of 2004.
Then, at 4:12 p.m. on Monday, JPD said it received another report of a burglary-in-progress in the 4500 block of Wood Duck Avenue, according to the release. A 25-year-old woman had returned home, found a man in the house, and she fled unharmed, the release said. Police said the house had been rifled through and a handgun was missing.
Items missing from the 31-year-old woman’s house on Thunder Street were found inside the home on Wood Duck Avenue, and the stolen vehicle was found on the street (Wood Duck Avenue), police said.
Police say they received a third report of a break-in at 8:30 p.m. A 60-year-old man had called JPD saying he went into his garage in the 4400 block of Columbia Boulevard and found a man sleeping there. The sleeping man was gone by the time police arrived, the release said.
Police said they identified Allen as a person of interest in Monday’s events, and arrested him on unrelated charges at a residence in the 3700 block of Amalga Street around 7 p.m. Tuesday.
Sell said the investigation may go on for some time since multiple cases are involved.
Allen is due back in court on Jan. 6, 2012 for a preliminary hearing regarding the Dec. 19 incident.
Brower told the judge in court Wednesday that Allen has a criminal history dating back to 2001 that includes assault, disorderly conduct, driving under the influence and falsifying information.
Court records show in 2001, he was indicted on a burglary charge for unlawfully entering a woman’s home with two other men, assault for throwing the woman into a mailbox support, threatening to kill her as she attempted to get the license plate number off his vehicle and providing false information about his identity to police when questioned about the incident.
Attorney Grace Lee noted on Allen’s behalf that Allen has not had a conviction since 2005.
• Contact reporter Emily Russo Miller at 523-2263 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.