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Police seek leads from public in tool theft

Posted: September 29, 2013 - 12:09am
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  Courtesy photo from the Juneau Police Department
Courtesy photo from the Juneau Police Department

Has someone recently tried to sell you brand new Bosch and Makita tools?

That’s the question police are posing to the public as they investigate a burglary/theft case where upward of $20,000 worth of tools were stolen from a building in the valley.

Police on Friday listed the incident as their “Crime of the Week” with the Juneau Crime Line in hopes the listing will jog people’s memory as to whether someone has approached them about buying tools, said Property Crime Investigator Detective Krag Campbell.

The burglary was originally reported to police on Tuesday by the property owner, Central Council of Tlingit and Haida Indian Tribes of Alaska. CCTHITA used the building for storage, but it previously was the site of their vocational training in construction, hence all the tools.

An inventory of all the missing items is still being compiled, so police said they could not describe the tools in much detail. But many of them were brand new and hadn’t even been taken out of the box yet, they said.

Campbell said they do have one big lead in the case — they found some of the boxes that contained the tools discarded in someone’s trash can at their home. Police made that discovery as they were executing a search warrant in an earlier case.

Campbell said at this point it is only believed that those boxes were the ones stolen from CCTHITA because police have not yet confirmed that with serial numbers. Campbell also noted the boxes they found were already empty and police did not confiscate any tools from the home.

Police said it is too premature in their investigation to confirm whose residence or which earlier case they are referring to. But the department said in an earlier press release that they found tools that are believed to be stolen when they responded to a shooting at a trailer park on Churchill Way on Sept. 15.

The CCTHITA building that was burglarized is located in the parking lot behind the Tlingit & Haida Native Lands & Resources office near Donna’s restaurant in the Mendenhall Valley. CCTHITA Property Manager Elias Duran previously told the Empire that the burglars severed a fuel line that connected a monitor heater to a 275-gallon fuel tank, which caused an estimated 250 gallons of diesel to spill onto the floor and down a drain that led directly into one of the city’s wastewater plants.

City and state officials with the Department of Environmental Conservation do not believe that the spill will have any devastating effects of the environment.

Police ask that any member of the public who has information about the case either contact the police department, or report the tip online at juneaucrimeline.com. Tipsters online are guaranteed anonymity by the Crime Line and can be rewarded.

• Contact reporter Emily Russo Miller at 523-2263 or at emily.miller@juneauempire.com.

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