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Crime & Courts

Man just out of jail in Fairbanks charged with stealing semi

A man suspected of stealing a new pickup from a Fairbanks dealership was released from jail and arrested again hours later behind the wheel of a stolen semi, authorities said.

Jerry Lee Green, 44, was out on bail and wearing an ankle monitor when Alaska State Troopers said they arrested him for the second time Wednesday after a 10-mile pursuit.

"It was a mad chase down the road and he got arrested again," said Fairbanks District Attorney Greggory Olson.

Green remained jailed Thursday. Prosecutors would be asking for "substantial, cash-only" bail at arraignment, Olson said.

Fairbanks police arrested Green on Dec. 22 on a misdemeanor trespassing charge after he demanded a truck from a dealership and refused to leave without it. Green was released on $50 bail.

Shortly before 3:30 a.m. Wednesday, a trooper spotted a brand-new GMC Sierra, still covered in shipping wrap, driving on a road in south Fairbanks. The officer conducted a traffic stop and found Green was the driver. He claimed to be an FBI agent but admitted taking the $61,000 truck from Chevrolet Buick GMC of Fairbanks, the same dealership where he had been arrested last month, troopers said.

After arraignment of theft and criminal trespass charges, Green was released on a $2,000 unsecured appearance bond and a $2,000 unsecured performance bond. That meant he promised to show for his next court appearance and follow other conditions, such as not breaking any additional laws or returning to the dealership. He was fitted with an ankle monitor to make sure he did not again approach the dealership, Olson said. He did not, however, have to put up any money.

"He didn't have to post anything," Olson said. "He just got out of jail,"

Just after 10:30 p.m., troopers took a call from an employee at Airport Equipment and Rental in south Fairbanks, who reported a man in a ski mask walking in the company's truck lot. The man turned on the lights of an 18-wheeler, attempted to unhook a trailer, and when confronted by the employee, got into the truck.

Troopers in patrol cars arrived and the semi driver, with the 46-foot flatbed trailer still attached, pulled out of the lot, almost hit a trooper car and drove off, authorities said.

Trooper James Thomas III in an affidavit said multiple drivers had to take evasive action as Green reached the Richardson Highway with the semi.

The truck drove over spike strips but continued on. Troopers deployed a second set of spikes and Green stopped 7 miles south of Fairbanks.

He still wore the ankle monitor and a yellow Fairbanks Correctional Center jumpsuit. The paperwork outlining his conditions of release from the earlier arrest was in his pocket, troopers said.

Attorney Amy Bennett of the Alaska Public Defender’s office said by email she could not comment on the case.