Man arrested for stealing car also suspected in other thefts

Homer Police said a man arrested on Sunday for stealing a Subaru Forester is a suspect in other recent burglaries and break-ins. Police charged Lucky Ackerman, 35, with first-degree vehicle theft, a felony, but other charges may be forthcoming for burglary and theft, said Homer Police Sgt. Lary Kuhns.

“We expect he’ll be charged at some point with multiple felonies involving property crimes,” Kuhns said.

Homer Police Officer Jacob Ruebelmann on Dec. 1 arrested Ackerman after serving a warrant at a Diamond Ridge Road house where Ruebelmann found a 2002 Subaru Forester and Ackerman stayed. The Subaru had been reported stolen by a Homer man about 10:30 a.m. that morning. The man had left his keys in the car and doors unlocked.

In a criminal complaint, Ruebelmann said he went to a house on Star Court and Diamond Ridge Road about 10 p.m. to see if the Subaru had been dumped in the area. The officer said he saw a pile of goods on the ground next to the Subaru which had been reported stolen earlier. 

Ruebelmann and an Alaska State Trooper tried to contact a man they saw in the house, but he refused to come to the door. Police took photos of a boot print near the car that appeared to match photos of boot prints from other burglaries.

Officers got a search warrant, entered the house and found Ackerman hiding under a blanket in his room. Police also found a pair of Klim snow boots with a tread matching the prints found at other burglaries.

Police suspect Ackerman might be linked to a burglary on Nov. 27 of a West Hill Road home and shop and of break-ins of cars at homes on Sheep Drive and Charlie Drive in the Diamond Ridge area, part of the trooper service area. 

Police also found church-related items at Ackerman’s house that make him a suspect in break-ins on Nov. 23 at a Sterling Highway church and Nov. 25 at a Jenny Lane church. Kuhns said that when police interviewed Ackerman after his arrest, they saw him wearing a ring with an inscription to a person who was a victim of another theft.

“That kind of tied things together,” Kuhns said.

Ackerman also had been charged earlier with second-degree theft for stealing an iPhone from Homer criminal defense lawyer Andrew Haas on Nov. 7. 

Haas located his smart phone using the “find my iPhone” feature, and police heard the phone buzzing from Ackerman’s bag when they went to the location Haas suggested. That charge was dismissed after a Kenai grand jury failed to indict Ackerman for the felony.

Kuhns said the Ackerman charges were part of a recent upswing in petty thefts and break-ins.

“Hopefully we can stop a lot of the petty thefts and break-ins that have been going on,” Kuhns said. “We were doing pretty good for a while, and this kicked back in again.”

Ackerman was being held at the Homer Jail as of Tuesday.

Michael Armstrong can be reached at michael.armstrong@homernews.com.


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