Crime & Courts

Anchorage man arrested in connection with January armed robberies

Police say a 24-year-old Anchorage man has been arrested in connection with two armed robberies and one attempted robbery at the end of January.

Gaythel Graves was charged with multiple counts of robbery and misconduct involving a firearm after allegedly robbing a restaurant, trying to rob another one and mugging a shopper in a parking lot in northeast Anchorage, according to a statement from the Anchorage Police Department.

The string of crimes began Jan. 28, when police say Graves walked into Flo's Pancake House on Muldoon Road and pointed a gun at an employee. He stole money sitting on the restaurant's counter and left, police said.

The next day, police responded to a Midtown Denny's restaurant due to an attempted robbery.

"A man had walked into the restaurant, pointed a gun at an employee standing at the register and demanded that she open the register. The employee slammed the register shut and ran into the kitchen area," according to the statement. "The man tried to grab both the cash register and computer, attempting to take them with him, but was unsuccessful and instead dropped them both on the floor. He left without taking anything."

Police went to the Sam's Club on Muldoon Road later that day because a man took a purse from a woman in the parking lot at gunpoint. The man dropped the purse as he ran away, and then he got into a vehicle.

"Two citizens followed the suspect vehicle (while) giving police dispatch updates over the phone," the statement says.

Police caught up with the vehicle on Boniface Parkway and arrested Graves and 19-year-old Ariana James, who had an outstanding warrant. Police say they determined Graves held up the two restaurants.

More charges stemming from the robberies may be filed, police said.