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Crime & Courts

Troopers: Man slams stolen van through ferry terminal gate

  • Author: Chris Klint
  • Updated: September 30, 2016
  • Published February 9, 2016

A man in the Southeast Alaska community of Hollis has been charged with several crimes after he stole a van at a local ferry terminal and drove it drunk into a closed gate, troopers said.

Alaska State Troopers said in a dispatch that they were notified of the incident at the Inter-Island Ferry Authority terminal in Hollis -- a town of about 100 people roughly 35 miles by boat west of Ketchikan -- at about 1 a.m. Tuesday. The case led to charges against 35-year-old Kenneth Burchfield.

"Investigation revealed that (Burchfield) had broken into the secured yard at the terminal," troopers wrote. "Burchfield then stole a 2010 Chevrolet passenger van owned by the IFA. He drove the vehicle through a locked security gate in order to flee the area, causing extensive damage to both the gate and van (approximate damages were $6,000 and $8,000 respectively)."

Troopers arrested Burchfield at his home shortly after the crash Tuesday, saying he appeared to be "heavily intoxicated."

Donna Halvorsen, the ferry service's terminal manager for Ketchikan and Hollis, said the ferries -- which are operated as a port authority by member communities, separate from the state-run Alaska Marine Highway System -- hadn't seen any service interruptions Tuesday.

"It hasn't affected our schedule," Halvorsen said. "The good news is that nobody was injured, and operations are still running smoothly."

Court records show Burchfield charged with five felonies including two counts of third-degree criminal mischief, one count of first-degree vehicle theft, and one count of DUI and refusal to submit to a chemical test made felonies by two prior convictions on the same counts within the last decade. He also faces misdemeanor counts of first-degree criminal trespass, driving with a revoked license and driving in violation of a license limitation.

Burchfield, whose prior criminal record includes felony convictions for vehicle theft in 2001 and 2002 as well as assault in 2009, was taken to the Craig jail and held without bail.

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