Michigan man is accused of burglarizing cars and stealing a SUV at Anchorage’s airport

The Ted Stevens Anchorage International Airport (Photo by Michael Hayes)

A man from Michigan allegedly secured ground transportation at Anchorage’s airport by stealing a SUV and burglarizing other cars there, according to Alaska State Troopers.

Kiril Johnson, 42, was initially arrested along the Seward Highway Saturday on charges of driving under the influence and theft, troopers said in an online dispatch Thursday.

“Investigation determined (Johnson) had recently traveled to Anchorage’s Ted Stevens International Airport and had stolen the vehicle from a parking lot there,” troopers said in the dispatch.

According to a charging document against Johnson, troopers learned at about 8:30 p.m. Saturday that the stolen Dodge Durango was moving south along the Seward Highway from Anchorage onto the Kenai Peninsula. The owner told Whitter police, who relayed his report to troopers, that a tracking device showed it being driven at speeds above 100 mph.

Troopers pulled the Durango over near the Seward-Sterling Highway junction, finding only Johnson inside at the wheel. He told troopers he didn’t know the speed limit, according to the charging document.

“(Johnson) initially claimed a ‘law enforcement’ officer had handed him the keys to the Durango at an unknown bar in Anchorage,” the charges said.

A drug evaluation showed signs that Johnson was impaired by marijuana, troopers said in the charges, and he was taken into custody.

According to the dispatch, troopers continued to investigate both Johnson and credit cards he had with him at the time of his DUI arrest.

“That investigation determined Johnson had likely burglarized more vehicles at the airport,” troopers said in the dispatch. “The following day Johnson attempted to post his bond using a credit card belonging to another person.”

Troopers remanded Johnson on additional charges of criminal impersonation, attempted fraudulent use of an access device and attempted theft. The investigation widened as troopers consulted with police at Anchorage’s airport and in Whittier.

“Johnson had burglarized several cars, (took) multiple items, and fraudulently used another person’s credit card at the airport and at businesses in Girdwood,” troopers said in the dispatch. “More criminal counts are forthcoming from those agencies.”

Airport Police and Fire Cpl. Steve Heilman said Thursday afternoon that Johnson had broken into multiple vehicles at the airport, but the exact number remains under investigation. He said the incident is a good reminder to secure vehicles parked there.

“One thing it’s important for people to consider when they leave their vehicle parked at the airport, in the parking garage or long-term parking, is definitely to make sure your vehicle is locked when you leave it here – and take your keys with you,” Heilman said.

Court records Thursday didn’t immediately show any additional charges filed against Johnson. He was being held at the Wildwood Pretrial Center in Kenai.

a portrait of a man outside

Chris Klint is a web producer and breaking news reporter at Alaska Public Media. Reach him atcklint@alaskapublic.org.Read more about Chrishere.

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