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Crime & Courts

5 suspects arrested in overnight Anchorage robberies

Two robberies early Friday morning in Anchorage led to the arrest of five suspects – one of whom tried to flee but crashed into a gas pump and was quickly surrounded by police, according to officials.

In the first robbery, a woman was walking in the Mountain View neighborhood, near the intersection of Bragaw Street and Richmond Avenue, around 2:45 a.m. when she was robbed by four suspects, the Anchorage Police Department said in an alert.

The woman told police that the suspects fled in a dark SUV with a loud muffler.  Officers spotted the car at the Tesoro gas station at the corner of Northern Lights Boulevard and the Seward Highway. Officers stopped the car, police said.

As police started interviewing the people in the car and more officers arrived, the man driving the car took off, said police spokesman MJ Thim.

The driver, 37-year-old Steven Thomas, crashed into a gas pump in the parking lot. Officers surrounded the SUV with their police vehicles, blocking Thomas from driving away, Thim said.

Thomas was arrested, along with three passengers: Sheila Wilson, 43, Sarah Orazio, 36, and Keith Wilson, 54. They were charged with robbery in the second degree.

Thomas faces additional charges of criminal mischief and resisting arrest. He was wanted on five warrants out of Anchorage and one in Juneau, online records show.

The second robbery happened around 3:10 a.m. in downtown Anchorage. A cab driver was dropping off 18-year-old Timothy Hansen at the 3900 block of East Eighth Avenue.

"Instead of paying the fare (Hansen) pulled out a gun and robbed him," Thim said.

Hansen fled on foot, but police K9 dogs tracked him down at an apartment on the 4200 block of San Roberto Avenue, near Russian Jack Springs Park.

Hansen was charged with robbery in the first degree and assault in the third degree.

All five of the suspects were arraigned Friday afternoon.

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