Alaska Digest

Posted: Sunday, September 10, 2006

Burglary reported at Auke Bay store

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JUNEAU - Juneau police are investigating a burglary at DeHarts alleged to have occurred while the Auke Bay store was open for business Thursday night.

A store employee reported that shortly before 10 p.m., someone entered the business from the back of the building and took money from the safe.

"We don't know how much," police Sgt. Steve Christensen said. "We're still trying to figure that out."

Police are asking anyone with information to call the department at 586-0600.

Pawn shop sales lead to burglary charges

ANCHORAGE - Stolen items spotted at a pawn shop helped lead to the arrest of two burglary suspects.

Police on Wednesday arrested William Kyle Triplett, 20, and Clay Emmett Millhouse, 21, on eight felony and misdemeanor theft charges.

They are accused of thefts at a home and a refrigeration business and police are investigating their possible connections to other burglaries and suspects.

"We're looking at additional suspects. I know there's at least one more," said burglary unit Sgt. Ron Tidler.

According to an affidavit filed in court Thursday by Detective James Estes, Triplett and Millhouse together sold at least 124 items to pawnshops between May and August. Some of the items, including a .22-caliber rifle and a carved ivory tusk, matched items taken from the home of Earl Frawner, 62, the affidavit said.

In many cases, the men had to show picture identification to pawn the items. A record of the ivory tusk sale, at Cash Alaska on Gamble Street, shows Millhouse was given $40 for it, the affidavit says.

Frawner said that's a fraction of the ivory is worth.

"That will buy six packs of cigarettes," Frawner said. The tusk was valued at $2,500, he said.

Lodge owner trapped by lawnmower dies

ANCHORAGE - The owner of a remote Alaska river lodge died of exposure after his riding lawnmower overturned and trapped him, Alaska State Troopers said Friday.

Andrew Piekarski, 61, owner of King Bear Lodge, was found Thursday near his lodge at Mile 44 of the Yentna River.

Piekarski was last seen or heard from Sunday, Trooper spokesman Greg Wilkinson said.

A neighbor found Piekarski's body and called Thursday.

Investigators determined that Piekarski drove off a small hill, Wilkinson said. His John Deere riding lawnmower landed on his legs. When Piekarski could not free himself, he unsuccessfully attempted to take the lawnmower apart using a multipurpose tool.

"He couldn't get if off his legs and he couldn't get out from under it and he died from exposure, from hypothermia," Wilkinson said.

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