Police charge teen with theft, rifling through Valley vehicles

Posted: Tuesday, August 07, 2001

A Juneau man will be arraigned today on charges stemming from rifling and stealing from several vehicles in the Mendenhall Valley.

Police, who arrested Ross Sparks, 18, on Saturday allege that last week he stole several items ranging from $20 to $500 in value out of vehicles parked near Taku Boulevard and Columbia Boulevard.

He was charged with two counts of second-degree theft, which is a felony, one count of third-degree theft, and three counts of second-degree criminal trespassing.

On Monday Sparks was released on a $5,000 bail.

A man living in the valley reported at 11:32 a.m. Saturday someone had stolen his laptop computer and day planner from his car, according to a police statement. The man further said a resident of Melrose Street told him she found his day planner in her trash and a laptop computer in her son's room, police said.

When police arrived at the house on Melrose, they found the caller and her son as well as three other men, police said. Police said that when they questioned Sparks, he admitted to taking the laptop and planner as well as rifling and stealing from cars in the area throughout the week. He told police, according to court documents, that he and a friend had been stealing things out of cars in the area three days prior to his arrest.

A second suspect has not been identified.

Sparks turned over several of the stolen items to police, they said, and showed them the wooded area where he had dumped several other stolen items, including a Kenwood portable CD player, a 35 mm Olympus camera, and a Burton knapsack.

Another knapsack filled with Native regalia, also allegedly stolen by Sparks, was recovered in woods the day it was stolen.

In the past two years, Sparks has been charged with driving without a license and underage drinking, according to court records. He was given probation for both charges.

Melanie Plenda can be reached at mplenda@juneauempire.com.

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