Thefts occurred during snow emergency in January cops say
The Palmer grand jury indicted Anchorage man Ian Bradford on numerous charges alleging theft, burglary and criminal trespass for his role in a rash of Valdez burglaries that occurred in January.
“Mr. Bradford was indicted on multiple felony counts,” Sgt. Bart Hinkle of the Valdez Police Dept. said in an interview Monday. “There are three counts of burglary in the second degree and five counts of theft in the second degree.”
Bradford is also accused of five misdemeanor counts of criminal trespass according to court records.
Bradford has been in custody of law enforcement since late January, accused of violating his probation conditions after coming to Valdez with the rush of workers who poured into Valdez to work removing snow. There is no evidence Bradford ever touched a shovel, but the grand jury believes he did remove a large number of possessions from Valdez residents.
Close to 20 burglaries of garages and thefts from cars were reported.
The Coast Guard Housing at the end of Hanagita Street was hard hit, as well as other locations around Valdez. Items reported stolen were purses, cash, debit/credit cards, snowboards, knives, binoculars, MP3 players, guns, and a Motorola radio.
A number of items have been returned to victims in Valdez but a number of items believed to have been stolen by Bradford – and an unknown number of juvenile suspects – have yet to be recovered by police.
“There is still a bunch more we wish we could have returned,” Hinkle said.
The names, ages, and hometowns of the juvenile suspects have not been released by law enforcement officials in Anchorage or Valdez.
“They (Anchorage police) did take custody of a couple of juvenile offenders,” Hinkle said.
The date of Bradford’s indictment by the grand jury in Palmer was set and rescheduled a number of times in February, frustrating victims and law enforcement officials alike.
“We had a number of local witnesses,” Hinkle said, including a witness that saw a suspicious vehicle and noted the license plate number before the burglaries were reported.
“Between Anchorage police and the community,” Bradford was pinpointed as a suspect Hinkle said. “It was a joint effort obviously.”
Efforts between Anchorage and Valdez police are ongoing Hinkle said.
“Of course there is an ongoing investigation,” he said. “If anybody has any information, please come forward.”
Bradford, age 21, has three prior theft convictions according to court records. His next court appearance is slated for May 7, 2012.