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Crime & Courts

Teen tried to sell pieces of gold nugget stolen from bank headquarters, Anchorage police say

A teenager who attempted to sell pieces of a gold nugget stolen from Wells Fargo corporate headquarters in Anchorage was arrested Monday, police said.

Austin Sala (Photo courtesy APD)

Austin M. Sala, 19, tried to sell parts of a gold nugget taken Friday from a display case at the bank headquarters, located at 301 W. Northern Lights Blvd., police said in an alert Wednesday.

The officer who responded to the theft last week warned several pawnshops that the nugget had been stolen, police said. On Monday, an employee of Gold Buyers of Alaska in Eagle River called police to report three people in the store were trying to sell pieces of a gold nugget that had been cut up.

Officers arrived and Sala was arrested on a previous felony warrant for weapons misconduct and assault. He was also charged with theft, police said. He was out of jail on $5,000 bond when he was arrested, according to online court records.

A woman who was with Sala at the pawnshop was also questioned by detectives but wasn’t charged.

Sala was convicted of third degree theft in May 2018 after demanding money at gunpoint from a woman who was trying to buy marijuana from him, police said.

Police do not believe Sala is the person who originally stole the nugget. That suspect is described as a white man between the ages of 35 and 40 who is about 5 feet, 8 inches tall with long brown hair. He was wearing a white coat at the time of the theft, police said.

Police are asking anyone with information about the theft to call police dispatch at 311 or Crime Stoppers at 907-561-STOP. Police are also taking anonymous tips at anchoragecrimestoppers.com.

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