Crime & Courts

Here's a look at a ‘person of interest’ in that airplane tire slashing at Merrill Field

Almost a month after dozens of airplane tires were slashed at Anchorage's Merrill Field, police are once again calling for the public's help in finding the person responsible — this time releasing fuzzy surveillance images of a person who might be connected to the crime.

Police spokeswoman Jennifer Castro said in a statement Friday morning that images showing the "person of interest" were found after officers reviewed "hundreds of hours" of surveillance footage from cameras at the field. Police say the June 2 vandalism, which affected 87 aircraft parked at Merrill Field, did an estimated $200,000 in damage to plane tires valued at $2,000 to $3,000 apiece.

"The person shown in the images was on foot in Merrill Field around 1:20 a.m. on June 2, in the areas where the planes were vandalized," Castro wrote. "The person in the image is wearing dark clothing and had on a backpack that possibly has a reflector on the left side."

Castro said by email Friday detectives investigating the case declined to comment on whether the surveillance imagery showed the person actually slashing tires.

"We've reviewed footage from over 55 cameras at Merrill Field looking at seven hours of footage from each one," Castro wrote.

Anchorage Crime Stoppers is offering a $1,000 reward for information leading to an arrest in the case, and the Alaskan Aviation Safety Foundation has set up a GoFundMe page taking donations toward a further reward. As of Friday morning, the foundation's reward fund was up to nearly $3,000 in donations.

Only tips submitted to Anchorage Crime Stoppers at 907-561-STOP or its website will be eligible for the rewards.

Chris Klint

Chris Klint is a former ADN reporter who covered breaking news.