Two separate shoplifting incidents escalated to robberies and felony charges in Anchorage on Tuesday, starting with a struggle over expensive outerwear in Spenard, police said.
It was about 10 a.m. when two employees at Alaska Mountaineering and Hiking caught a man trying to leave the Spenard Road store with cross-country ski clothing hidden under the clothes he was wearing, said police spokesman Lt. Dave Parker. The alleged thief, 25-year-old Brian Sliker, struck one employee and slashed the other's hand, Parker said. Still, the employees held onto Sliker, who tried to take $509 in merchandise, until a police officer on patrol nearby arrived to arrest him, Parker said.
Sliker was charged with robbery, assault and theft, police said.
Twenty minutes later, across town at the Muldoon Road Best Buy store, a man and woman tried to steal three Kindle Fire tablet devices, Parker said. Best Buy employees confronted the pair, but the woman said she carried pepper spray and a gun, the police spokesman said. The employees saw a getaway car -- a white 1996 Suzuki -- and officers found it near the Glenn Highway and Muldoon Road, Parker said.
But the car did not stop, and officers used a spike strip to puncture one of its tires near Muldoon and East Sixth Avenue, Parker said. At East 15th Avenue and Muldoon, an officer used his patrol car to stop the car and pin the driver's door closed, Parker said.
Police arrested the Suzuki's occupants: Joseph Wingate, 50, and Megan Allen, 28. Wingate faces charges of robbery, theft and eluding arrest. Allen told police she was pregnant, and, after she was taken to a hospital to be medically cleared before jail, was found to not be pregnant, Parker said. She is charged with robbery, theft, resisting arrest and providing false information.
Reach Casey Grove at firstname.lastname@example.org or 257-4589.
By CASEY GROVE