The theft of dozens of semiautomatic handguns from a Wasilla store resulted in felony charges for nine people Thursday, according to Alaska State Troopers.
A total of 38 guns were taken Sept. 18 from the Three Bears store on the Palmer-Wasilla Highway, said troopers spokeswoman Beth Ipsen. Investigators recovered 22 of the stolen guns and arrested nine individuals from Wasilla, Palmer, Chugiak and Eagle River, Ipsen said.
Ipsen declined to say how the theft occurred, "since we're still trying to recover the rest of the firearms."
The 145 felony counts include first- and second-degree burglary, second-degree theft, and second-degree theft by receiving.
Those indicted are:
• Amber Helmann, 30, of Wasilla.
• Christopher Everly, 18, of Wasilla.
• John Stern, 19, of Palmer.
• Mitchell Cupp, 19, of Palmer.
• Joseph Price, 24, of Palmer.
• Joseph Owens, 18, of Palmer.
• Laurie Plyler, 24, of Eagle River.
• Kevin Angel, 29, of Chugiak.
• An unnamed 16-year-old boy from Palmer, charged as a juvenile.
Besides troopers, the multi-agency investigation involved the Statewide Drug Enforcement Unit; the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives; and the Palmer Police Department, troopers said.
The ATF is offering a $2,500 reward for information leading to the conviction of more suspects and the recovery of the still-missing 16 firearms. Tips can be left at (907) 271-5701.
Reach Casey Grove at firstname.lastname@example.org or 257-4589.
By CASEY GROVE
Anchorage Daily News