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Crime & Courts

Anchorage police: Man entered still-burning apartment complex to steal medications

  • Author: Alaska News
  • Updated: September 30, 2016
  • Published May 17, 2016

An Anchorage man was arrested at the scene of an apartment fire Tuesday morning and faces burglary, theft and drug charges after police said he raided apartments for prescription medications while firefighters fought the blaze.

Anchorage Police Department spokeswoman Renee Oistad said in an email Tuesday afternoon that the suspected looter, 21-year-old Manee Mulifai, was taken into custody during the fire.

"Mulifai was caught stealing medications from apartments in the burning complex while AFD was physically fighting the fire," Oistad wrote. "Mulifai does not live in the area and it is unknown what he was doing there."

Mulifai was found in possession of prescription medications, according to Oistad, as well as controlled substances.

"He had some of each," Oistad said.

Anchorage Fire Department spokesman Capt. Alex Boyd said the arrest took place after residents of an apartment in the building told firefighters that someone who had re-entered the building falsely claimed to live in their apartment.

"Someone was in the scene that wasn't supposed to be and they left the scene in handcuffs," Boyd said.

Boyd said firefighters don't often see looting in Anchorage.

"We haven't seen it -- we usually keep things really secure," Boyd said. "It doesn't usually happen during the fire; it happens right after we leave the fire."

Police jailed Mulifai at the Anchorage Correctional Complex on charges of second-degree burglary, third-degree theft and sixth-degree misconduct involving a controlled substance.

His bail was set at $5,000, with a court-approved third-party custodian required for release.

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