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Crime & Courts

Troopers: Vehicle thief abandoned young child in Houston chase

  • Author: Alaska News
  • Updated: September 30, 2016
  • Published January 26, 2016

A Wasilla man wanted on numerous counts of vehicle theft left behind a young child during a chase near Houston early Tuesday before a K-9 unit helped arrest him, Alaska State Troopers said.

The chase that led to the arrest of Robert Crawley, 31, began at about 1:15 a.m. on the Parks Highway near West Cheri Lake Drive, according to a trooper dispatch. Troopers first spoke with Crawley after spotting him in a 2014 Toyota 4Runner that had left the roadway.

"Crawley gave false information regarding his identity," troopers wrote. "Crawley subsequently fled on foot, abandoning a 4-year-old in a manner likely to cause serious physical injury."

After troopers brought in a K-9 dog named Blazer, which helped find Crawley, troopers learned Crawley had an arrest warrant without bail for 13 counts of vehicle theft. In addition, the 4Runner had been reported stolen in the previous 36 hours.

"Troopers responded to the address the vehicle was registered to and discovered the building had ... been burglarized," troopers wrote. "Troopers were able to confirm through on scene evidence that Crawley had been present for the burglary."

Troopers didn't specify the child's relationship to Crawley.

Crawley's felony criminal record includes guilty pleas and convictions on charges of second-degree theft in 2013, first-degree vehicle theft in 2012 and fourth-degree misconduct involving controlled substances in 2009.

Crawley was arrested on the warrant, as well as new charges of first-degree vehicle theft and endangering the welfare of a minor, second-degree burglary and providing false information. The additional charges carry a total of $15,000 bail.

An Alaska inmate database showed Crawley in custody at the Mat-Su Pretrial Facility Tuesday morning.

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