A security incident involving an armed robber at the Anchorage 5th Avenue mall in downtown ended safely Sunday afternoon after another armed man helped detain the suspect, police say.
Police spokeswoman Anita Shell said in a statement Sunday evening that about $1,200 in goods from the robbery's target, the Buckle Clothing Store, were recovered during the arrest of 18-year-old Yan Bangout. Nobody was injured during the incident.
"Employees believed the man was attempting to conceal the clothing in a bag while in the fitting room and alerted mall security," Shell wrote. "As the suspicious man left the store, he was confronted by mall security and a struggle ensued over the bag containing stolen goods. During the struggle, the suspect drew a gun from his waistband; however, a good Samaritan, also armed with a gun, stepped in and assisted security in taking the man into custody."
Anna Bosin, a customer at the mall's nearby Apple Store, said the incident occurred at about 12:15 p.m. Sunday, when "somebody was trying to enter the store."
Bosin said the man was tackled before entering the store: "Two guns were involved, and I think the person of interest had a gun -- so they were trying to get the gun from him."
Bosin said the Apple Store was evacuated so quickly that customers weren't reunited with their personal possessions until after the incident was resolved.
"Everybody at the Apple Store did a professional job evacuating the store," Bosin said. "We went over to the Anchorage Museum and then they heard from mall security that the mall was cleared."
The mall's security office deferred questions to the mall's marketing staff, who weren't available Sunday.
Shell said Bangout was charged with robbery, theft and four counts of assault. He was held at the Anchorage jail on $10,000 bail, with a third-party custodian required for his release.
Alaska Dispatch Publishing