Law enforcement officers have arrested two men and a juvenile in connection with the armed robberies of two stores in Eagle River and Palmer, and detectives believe the suspects were possibly involved in a recent string of armed robberies in the area, according to an alert Tuesday from Anchorage police.
A joint investigation between Anchorage police, Alaska State Troopers and the Federal Bureau of Investigation led to the identification of 19-year-old Sephan J. Allen, 18-year-old Garrett R. Gantner and a juvenile as suspects in the robberies of the Carrs in Eagle River and the Valley Country Store in Palmer last week, police said.
Both Allen and Gantner were charged with first-degree robbery and third-degree assault, and Gantner also faces a third-degree theft charge. Police said that the “suspects may have been involved in multiple armed robbery investigations between Anchorage and the Mat-Su Valley during the last few weeks.” They could face additional charges as the investigation continues, according to police.
The Eagle River Carrs was robbed just before 11:38 p.m. Aug. 24, police said in Tuesday’s alert. Two men in masks entered the store and approached an employee at a checkout stand, and one man then pointed a handgun at the employee and demanded money, according to police. The employee gave them money from the register’s till and emptied the register at the customer service desk after they ordered her to, police said. The men also forced open the locked tobacco cabinet and stole cigars before fleeing on foot, according to police.
A similar robbery occurred at the Valley Country Store about an hour before the Carrs robbery, police said. At the Palmer store, two men wearing ski masks entered, “pointed handguns at the clerk and stole money and items,” police said. Alaska State Troopers responded to that robbery.
Three days after the robberies, police received information about Allen’s location, conducted a traffic stop after they found him driving in Eagle River and then arrested him, police said. The next day, troopers found Gantner and took him into custody, according to police, and Gantner was taken to the Anchorage Police Department for questioning. Both Gantner and Allen were taken to the Anchorage jail, police said.
On Aug. 29, the day after Gantner was taken into custody, a juvenile contacted Anchorage police and “stated he wanted to turn himself in,” police said. Officers took the juvenile into custody from his residence. Detectives interviewed him, and he was remanded at the McLaughlin Youth Center, police said.
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