Man charged with burglary may be linked to spree

Assistant Juneau DA says police are looking at additional crimes

Posted: Thursday, August 25, 2005

A 30-year-old man charged with two August burglaries at Juneau Drug downtown "has been on a Juneau crime spree," a state prosecutor alleged at his initial court appearance Wednesday.

Joshua River Riley, facing drug and burglary felonies, shook his head while Assistant Juneau District Attorney Doug Gardner said police also are looking at the possibility of additional crimes, related to drugs, robbery and burglary.

"From a danger-to-the-community standard, Mr. Riley should get a five-star rating," Gardner said. He asked for bail to be set at $100,000.

Juneau District Magistrate John W. Sivertsen Jr. set bail at $50,000 and told Riley he also would have to have a court-approved friend or relative agree to watch him before he can be released.

Riley, who was arrested late in the day Tuesday, is charged with Aug. 8 and Aug. 18 burglaries at Juneau Drug, 202 Front St., and second-degree misconduct involving a controlled substance. He also is charged with misdemeanor theft in each case.

In both cases, the stolen drugs included strictly controlled prescription pain relievers, Gardner said.

Assistant Public Defender Eric Hedland, appointed by Sivertsen Wednesday to represent Riley, took issue with Gardner's "five-star danger rating." Riley is not alleged to have used weapons or threatened harm to anyone, he said.

Sivertsen said the drugs taken in the burglaries put people at risk.

Because Riley is charged with felonies, he will not be asked to enter a plea unless his case is remanded to Superior Court. Sivertsen scheduled a Sept. 6 preliminary hearing to establish probable cause.

Gardner said he understood from a prosecutor in Norfolk, Va., that Riley pleaded guilty there on April 5 to one count of residential burglary and one count of grand larceny. He said he also was told Riley did not show up for a scheduled June hearing in that jurisdiction. Riley also faces at least one more burglary in the Virginia area, Gardner said.

He compared the Juneau Drug burglaries to something out of "Mission Impossible." He alleged Riley is the ski-mask-clad person security cameras at Juneau Drug recorded lowering himself down from a hole in the ceiling and calmly going through drugs to find what he was looking for before exiting back through the hole.

The surveillance recording also shows police coming in heavily armed after the burglar left, Gardner said.

"At this point things are still under investigation," police Sgt. Troy Wilson said later, declining to comment on other charges Riley could face.

There were two burglaries of Juneau Drug in the last year, on Sept. 9 and July 19, Wilson said. He could not say if Riley is a suspect in either.

• Tony Carroll can be reached at tony.carroll@juneauempire.com.



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