Palmer police: Thieves targeting vehicles left running and unlocked

Zaz Hollander

Good thing the mercury is rising. A rash of vehicle thefts in Palmer has been linked to people who warm up cars and trucks in their driveways but leave them unlocked, Palmer police say.

There have been about 10 vehicles reported stolen in the last six months, Palmer police officer James "Lucky" Gipson said this week.

Every report except one involved a vehicle left running at someone's home, Gipson said. The lone exception came when someone stole a vehicle that wasn't running but did have a spare key in the center console, he said.

Palmer police did recently arrest someone accused of stealing a vehicle, although it was from Anchorage, they say.

Leo Hanna, 43, of Anchorage, was arrested Feb. 20 on charges of first-degree vehicle theft, a misdemeanor, and two additional theft counts, one a felony and the other a misdemeanor, according to a police press release. Hanna told police he got the vehicle on Craigslist, Gipson said, but he didn't have a title for it and the vehicle had been reported stolen in Anchorage. He was arrested by officers investigating the theft of copper wire from a construction site, Gipson said.

Hanna was taken to Mat-Su Pretrial Facility on $2,500 bail.

Reach Zaz Hollander at or 257-4317.