Story last updated at 2:38 p.m. Thursday, December 5, 2002

Arrests may be linked to crime spree

Off the blotter

by Chris Bernard
Staff Writer

The Homer Police Department assisted Alaska State Troopers last week in the arrest of three people who may be linked to a recent rash of vehicle vandalisms and burglaries.

Two 17-year-olds and 18-year-old Shane Scott were arrested shortly before midnight on Nov. 27 on criminal mischief charges following an incident at the Kachemak Community Center on East End Road, according to the troopers' report.

A caller reported that the community center was being broken into. A Homer police officer arrived on scene as a car was leaving.

"They'd broken the window out of a car in the parking lot there, and had unscrewed a light bulb from one of the parking lot lights," said Homer Police Chief Mark Robl. "We got there pretty quickly, and I think we broke up what they were planning on doing."

Trooper Tom Dunn said the suspects left the scene in a hurry.

"Were they fleeing us with our lights and sirens? No," he said. "Were they in a hurry to get away? Yes, absolutely."

Dunn said the suspects were contacted at a nearby residence and arrested for criminal mischief. Scott was held on $500 bail and the juveniles were released to a parent, with charges being forwarded to Juvenile Intake.

While the juveniles' records are not available to the public, Dunn said both have had contact with Juvenile Intake before.

Robl said that he does not know whether the incident was linked to a series of break-ins and thefts that began a few weeks ago in and around Homer, but said it is a good possibility.

"The last two weeks, there have been fewer crimes of that sort, and I think that can be attributed to our patrol presence in town," he said. "We step up our presence this time of year anyway.

"We have an increase in this sort of crime once the days start getting shorter."

Dunn said an investigation is continuing.

"Right now, I have nothing to prove that this incident was related to any of the others, but we're looking into that," he said.

Several people were charged Saturday night with underage drinking after police crashed a party on Whispering Meadows Road.

Three of those charged were repeat offenders, according to the police report.

Two teens were also charged with flight to avoid arrest, said Robl.

"It was a big party, and there were some kids who fled into the woods," he said.

Another student, a 16-year-old female, was charged with minor consuming at Homer High School last week when a staff member smelled alcohol on her breath, Robl said.

"Is that common? No, that doesn't happen very often," he said.

Kenai Peninsula Borough School District policy subjects any student caught in possession, or under the influence, of alcohol on school grounds to a suspension of up to 45 days, or recommendation to the school board for expulsion.

Kenai Peninsula Borough School District Assistant Superintendent Gary Whiteley was contacted for this story but did not return calls to the Homer News.

Chris Bernard can be reached at cbernard@homer

For a complete list of recent police and court reports, please see Town Crier