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Crime & Courts

Burglar caught in Juneau building’s air ducts, police say

A man was arrested Sunday morning after being coaxed from the air ducts of a building in downtown Juneau.

The Juneau Police Department said 23-year-old River Eugene Parrish broke into the Emporium Mall, a building built in 1901 that now houses several businesses. Parrish remained in custody Monday, with a court appearance scheduled for Tuesday. He has not yet been appointed a defense attorney and is being held without bail.

The Emporium Mall building in downtown Juneau, Alaska is seen on Monday, July 13, 2020. The Juneau Police Department said it removed a suspected burglar from the building's air ducts on Sunday. (James Brooks / ADN)

Jared Curé, the building’s owner, said a tenant alerted him Sunday morning to some interior damage. When he came to inspect the scene, he heard a voice coming from the ceiling of Imagination Station, a toy store in the building.

“It was pretty bizarre,” Curé said.

“I don’t know if he got stuck in there or if he just decided to sleep in there, I’m not sure, but the police came around 11 a.m. or something like that and were able to talk him out of there. It took a couple of hours,” he said.

Security camera footage shows a person breaking into the building about 3 a.m. and using vents and mechanical spaces in an attempt to access different stores.

“He was definitely in the ventilation system,” Curé said.

The Juneau Police Department said the building sustained about $1,000 in damage and said about $1,500 was taken from businesses in the building, most of which was later recovered. Curé said the items were from the toy store, and he wasn’t sure if any other business had been entered.

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