Anchorage police are turning to the public for help trying to catch a local jewelry thief.
The man, who appears in still photos captured on security cameras and circulated by police, has stolen from jewelry stores on three recent occasions, police spokeswoman Jennifer Castro said Thursday. He reportedly poses as an interested customer, handles the jewelry, then bolts for the door, Castro said.
"We haven't had any reports of use of force by him in any of these situations," Castro said. "He goes in, makes contact with store employees, spends a good amount of time there talking with them, basically establishes a rapport with the staff."
In each case, the man has succeeded in running off with the jewelry and left the area in a blue Ford Explorer SUV with yellow license plates, Castro said. The suspect is said to have writing tattooed on his left wrist and has worn earrings in both ears, she said.
Police are not saying specifically when the thefts occurred, what type of jewelry the man has stolen or how much the jewelry is thought to be worth. Castro said it had been less than a month since the first known theft.
Castro said anyone with information on the thefts or suspect is asked to call police at 786-8900 or, to remain anonymous, deliver tips to Crime Stoppers at 561-STOP or anchoragecrimestoppers.com.
By CASEY GROVE