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Crime & Justice

Alleged Gambell pizza thieves try to sell them to police officers

  • Author: Tegan Hanlon
  • Updated: September 28, 2016
  • Published April 27, 2015

Of 80 frozen pizzas stolen Sunday in the village of Gambell, 75 have been recovered, according to Alaska State Troopers.

Village police officers received their "strongest investigative lead" in the case when John Koozaata, 29, and Lewis Oozeva, 21, called the Gambell Police Department and tried to sell the pizzas to on-duty officers, according to a trooper dispatch posted online Monday.

At 10 a.m. Sunday, troopers in Nome received report of the burglary in Gambell, a village on St. Lawrence Island in the Bering Sea.

Investigation revealed that Koozaata and Oozeva had broken into the Gambell Native Store warehouse in the early morning. They took five cases of frozen pizza, troopers said. The cases (80 pizzas in total) were valued at more than $1,100, or about $13.75 per pizza, according to troopers.

Koozaata and Oozeva were arrested and taken to Nome, troopers said. On Monday, both were in custody at the Anvil Mountain Correctional Center. They each face a charge of second-degree burglary and second-degree theft, according to court records.

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