A grand jury in Anchorage has charged six people in a connection with a rash of vehicle thefts earlier this year.
According to charging documents, Usugafono Palauni, 23, Faamolemole Uiese, 26, David Ekeroma Fatialofa, 26, and Fale Junior Moevao, 30, are accused of stealing trucks and cars around Anchorage, and using them in burglaries all over the municipality. All four were taken into custody between April and May on separate charges, according to Anchorage Police Department spokesperson Renee Oistad.
Most of the thefts detailed in the 30-count indictment took place in March. They include an incident from March 28th when a break-in at Kriner’s diner led to a high-speed chase, and shots fired at officers.
Two women who were found in one of the trucks involved in the Kriner’s incident, Desiree Osburn, 32, and Joslyn Pagaduan, 32, have been charged with hindering prosecution. Both are still at large.
Anchorage saw a surge in car thefts earlier this year, peaking in April, at which point more than 550 vehicles had been reported stolen, almost twice the number as the same time the prior year.
The district attorney’s office attached a prosecutor to look into the wave of thefts with investigating detectives, which is a unusual step in property crime cases, according to Oistad with APD.
Officials say the individuals are responsible for a large share of the car thefts earlier this year, but by no means all.