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Thread: Who has caught a thief?

  1. #1
    Member tboehm's Avatar
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    Default Who has caught a thief?

    There has been way to many threads about thieves as of lately and there is nothing lower. Thought that it might be interesting to hear some stories of ones that actually got caught!! How you caught them, What you did, what did the police do, what was the final outcome in court? Maybe some suggestions might help some of the members that are dealing with current situations. There was a thread about a canoe that looked like the thief might be caught after posting a sale on craigs list. Personally I like some of the overseas solutions of removing the offending hand!!!

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    Member AlaskaTrueAdventure's Avatar
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    tbeohm,
    Well I hope you get some post contributions concerning "just" rewards for thieves.
    But thieves are often quite well organized and hard to catch and prosecute here in Alaska.
    And our liberal court/justice system have not adopted the "overseas solutions" you mentioned.

    But we have had two incidents reported here on the forum in the past year+ where stolen property was recovered.
    1) a year+ (?) ago a raft was recovered up in the Fairbanks area....reported by CO transplant, female forum member...
    2) that fancy lever action rifle was recovered in the Mat-Su valley....reported by a male forum member...
    But I do not remember hearing/reading if the bad dudes/thieves were ever prosecuted.

    dennis

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    Member bushrat's Avatar
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    Default An upper-Yukon Tale

    Tom et al, I posted this a couple years back in the remote living forum, and Hippie tracked down the link. Here it is again, figured you might enjoy it <grin>.
    Many years ago, a couple of bad guys from the big city decided to do a jetboat trip from Circle, up the Yukon into Canada, and up the Fortymile River to the bridge on the Taylor Hwy. They drove from Fbks up to Circle and launched their boat, and had a friend drive their pickup back with a schedule to meet them on the Taylor Hwy.

    It was a time when the river people were still living in the country, but many were at various fish camps and some were off to town buying supplies. Anyway, whether planned or not, the two guys in the jetboat decided to stop in at every vacant cabin and steal whatever they thought was of value, mostly chainsaws, generators, guns, small outboards, and tools. They managed to get away with this without being caught, but one bushrat who returned from a trip to town to find his chainsaw and genny and other belongings gone was not going to just sit idly by. He motored back upstream from the mouth of the Kandik toward Eagle, stopping in at neighbors camps and cabins asking if they too had been ripped off. They had. Someone somewhere along the way mentioned they'd seen a jetboat with a couple of guys dressed in camo clothing stop in at various places, and that this boat had continued up past Eagle.

    I won't mention the bushrat's name who was out to recover his and everyone elses belongings (not me), but this guy had a reputation for being a hard-drinking and hard-fighting man back in his city days, and not one to be messed with. Gentle as a lamb and kind if he knew and liked you, not someone you really wanted to meet if it was otherwise. He continued motoring up into Canada and found that the river rats living along the river in Canada had also been ripped off, and that someone had seen a heavily loaded jetboat head up the mouth of the Fortymile. Our hero pursued, bumming gas off his riverine neighbors for the cause. It was the latter half of July and it was light all night long. About 40 long miles up the Fortymile River, after busting a prop and having to put on a spare, only ten miles from the bridge on the Taylor at about 3am he saw a jetboat moored along a gravel bar, a tent set up, no people visible. He motored close to the boat to see if he could see inside and sure enough it was completely littered with saws, gennys, tools etc. He kept motoring by so as not to wake or stir the thieves, went a mile farther and cut the motor and drifted back down to the jetboat and quietly and furtively tied alongside and loaded all the stolen goods in his boat. By that time it was nearing 6am. He tied his boat off on shore and untied the jetboat and pushed it out into the current. He took his riot shotgun, went to the tent, and yelled for the occupants to "get the hell out of there" pronto, and to come out unarmed.

    The two men pleaded for mercy after seeing that their boat was no longer there and watching our pissed-off samaritan's finger twitch on the trigger of that big twelve gauge. The men explained that they were stationed at Ft Wainwright in Fbks and that an army buddy was going to meet them at the bridge and that this friend and others more combat oriented would "come looking" for them if they didn't show up. I suppose this was the final straw for our unduly deputized bushrat, and at this point he ordered the men to strip naked, which they did, and he tossed their clothes and boots into the tent and proceeded to light a match to the nylon. The men exclaimed that they had their pistols in there...and the bushrat recovered the pistols first and then lit the tent on fire. He held the naked men at bay while the tent burned, untied his now-loaded boat and told them they'd better hoof it to the bridge before the mosquitoes ate them alive. He considered not physically harming the men the greatest mercy he could ever give, for he sincerely wanted to do much more. In truth, the long journey in pursuit of the thieves had somewhat calmed his initial outrage and desire for physical revenge.

    So it was that our bushrat traveled back down the river system like Santa Claus asking every river person to come look and see what might be theirs from the bounty in his jon boat. He recovered everything, including weapons, and got it all back to the right people. It was at a mid-winter trapper gathering that I first heard his story, and I didn't doubt it one bit. The only thing that surprised me was that he didn't actually hurt anyone. No word was ever heard again of the thieves...though stories did float around among some placer miners dredging the Forytmile of two naked men stumbling up the river near the bridge. The jetboat was found by someone else and then brought up to the bridge on the Taylor, where it was then found out it was stolen from a Fairbanks residence, trailer and all...these same guys just backed up to the trailer late one evening and drove off with it. One assumes the thieves made it back to civilization, but really couldn't call the authorities and tell them they'd been robbed at gunpoint.

    Well...one of those bush stories that sound better around a woodstove or campfire and a bottle of aged whiskey. I will say that I personally don't think that violence is the right or proper way to deal with thieves...but I understand how people get riled over having their stuff stolen. I've always loved the frontier justice aspect of the above story though...just one of many from this neck of the woods. And lest everyone bash the military on this...their are bad apples among us all no matter what group or line of work. That's the story as I heard it though and no sense sugar coating it.

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    Moderator bkmail's Avatar
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    Shrimp pots stolen and recovered by the troopers this summer. More about it in the saltwater section if you want to read up on it.
    BK

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    There was a story in Alaska Mag............years ago, from the before statehood days............about a local in the Nushagak area who would rob trappers camps when they weren't around. Went on for quite some time. Different local guy finally set a trap for him! Strychnine mixed in with sugar in the sugar bowl. Thief had some sugar in his tea at the guys camp and died there. Found his body later.
    Might have been in the Ak. mag back in the 70's.
    I can't help being a lazy, dumb, weekend warrior.......I have a JOB!
    I have less friends now!!

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    I have considered leaving a can of gas and sugar in the back of my truck at times, but never actually done it. I know as soon as I do I will forget and put it in one of my vehicles.

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    Member homerdave's Avatar
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    a few years ago there was a rash of fuel tank thefts at the boat yard... a little karo syrup in a gas tank... wait until someone needs assistance because their boat won't go..... guess they caught 'em...
    Alaska Board of Game 2015 tour... "Kicking the can down the road"
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    Member sayak's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by martentrapper View Post
    There was a story in Alaska Mag............years ago, from the before statehood days............about a local in the Nushagak area who would rob trappers camps when they weren't around. Went on for quite some time. Different local guy finally set a trap for him! Strychnine mixed in with sugar in the sugar bowl. Thief had some sugar in his tea at the guys camp and died there. Found his body later.
    Might have been in the Ak. mag back in the 70's.
    That was an excerpt from a book called "North of the Sun", by Fred Hatfield. The local man was Klutak. he was a killer in addition to being a thief. My wife's uncle, John W. Nicholson, knew Fred and knew and heard personal stories from posse members who temporarily apprehended Klutak. He said Hatfield's account of Klutak's demise was bogus, and that most old timers familiar with the events of the upper Nushagak and the headwaters of the Kuskokwim agreed that he just moved out of the Nush proper, and went on to kill and rob in the Holitna/Hoholitna area, or Sleetmute area where he was originally from. He was a really, really bad man who was reputed to have even pushed his own father or father-in-law off the ice to his death. The exploits of the "Mad Trapper of Rat River" probably pale in comparison to the exploits of Klutak.

    Bushrat- a good story. Enjoyed it immensely.

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    Member sayak's Avatar
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    I did not catch a thief, but I did get my comeupance on one. Years ago there was a man who had the same name as me in Dillingham. He managed to get into my bank account, got onto my medical records, and left a series of mad jilted women in Nome who called my phone and talked with my wife!

    One spring I took my old broken down 35 Evinrude to the local marina to get it fixed. The service manager asked when I was going to pick up my 40hp Norseman which they now claimed because it had been left there all winter. I said that I owned no such motor to have fixed. He said "Look here on the tag, it says ______ _______. Ain't that you? You owe us for the repairs or we'll sell it for our parts and labor." I said that it wasn't me, but that I would pay for the repairs and take the motor. He said fine. Long and the short of it is that I got an almost brand new 40 for the cost of some lower unit parts and labor- about $300. I later sold the motor for $800 after I got several seasons of good use out of it. It was sweet, and still makes me smile.

    Sometime after that the man drowned in Kodiak harbor and I got lots of calls from people consoling me about my death.

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    Member fullkurl's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sayak View Post
    I did not catch a thief, but I did get my comeupance on one. Years ago there was a man who had the same name as me in Dillingham. He managed to get into my bank account, got onto my medical records, and left a series of mad jilted women in Nome who called my phone and talked with my wife!

    One spring I took my old broken down 35 Evinrude to the local marina to get it fixed. The service manager asked when I was going to pick up my 40hp Norseman which they now claimed because it had been left there all winter. I said that I owned no such motor to have fixed. He said "Look here on the tag, it says ______ _______. Ain't that you? You owe us for the repairs or we'll sell it for our parts and labor." I said that it wasn't me, but that I would pay for the repairs and take the motor. He said fine. Long and the short of it is that I got an almost brand new 40 for the cost of some lower unit parts and labor- about $300. I later sold the motor for $800 after I got several seasons of good use out of it. It was sweet, and still makes me smile.

    Sometime after that the man drowned in Kodiak harbor and I got lots of calls from people consoling me about my death.
    Great post!
    Proud to be an American!

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    Sure.
    The most interesting was my snowgo coughing to slow life one 4am at -30, when I, 9mm in hand bound down the steps to stop the neighbors drunken out of town son. He just kept trying to go, burning belt and chugging the engine That rock hard track wasnt movin' anywhere, and knowing I couldnt shoot him( he was trying very hard to ignore me~~LOL!!~~), so I reversed the pistol, holding the slide, and hit him full swing in the face , aiming for his nose but hitting his cheek, tearing the upper lip out from the corner of his mouth to his nostral, and away flew his canine and the one next to it.
    He flipped backward and landed on his side, got up and jogged away.

    I went inside and was about asleep again when the phone rang and a AK Trooper was asking me if I was sober and if I was shooting my gun, I said, quite amused and soberly that I was neither and told him what happend, who was drunk and whos snowgo was where.....
    He laughed and said the clinik had called in his story, because there was a gun involved, and that the idiots story was I had done it drunk while he was starting the snowgo he was barrowing. What an Idiot....

    I told 'em to come see the tracks in the snow and that NOBODY borrows my snowgo at 4am. I told 'em Id video it if needed, and to be sure I took pix anyway....couldnt find the teeth though......

    He said "Dont worry about it...Good Night" with a chuckle.

    Guess he went to the dentist in Kotz on the next mornings flight and was arrested after some fixin'~~LOL~~
    If you can't Kill it with a 30-06, you should Hide.

    "Dam it all", The Beaver told me.....

  12. #12
    Member tboehm's Avatar
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    Default great input

    Stranger - Love your story. I as many I'm sure wonder about holding a gun on someone and seeing I'm they would respect it or just run off knowing they wouldn't be shot. Glad he got the other end of it.

    Sayak - sounds like you may have made out in the long run. Did he leave you anything in his will?

    Bkmail - I seem to remember that thread, was it yours? Can you add a link here? What was the final outcome in court punishment wise?

    homerdave & Yagonyonok - things like this is something that many have thought about and talked about. I can say that I have. Wonder if anyone here has actually done it and if it added in catching the scum.

    Bushrat - I did remember when you post that the first time. Thanks for resharing that fantastic story.

    Co transplant - would you reshare your story of the raft? What was the final outcome, punishment handed out by the court?

    I remember the lever gun story. Wasn't a member here going to a pawn shop and it was the wrong one but then that shop owner called another pawn shop and found it? What ever happen to the offending individual?

    I also remember a member here having a house broke into...who was it? Did they ever catch that piece of trash?

    Keep the stories comming guys.

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    Member Smokey's Avatar
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    Good Stories for sure - mine pales in comparrison but thought it is worthy...
    Several years ago my son and I were "bank poling" for catfish. We made up some very nice fiberglass poles about 7 feet long, and stick them in the river bank suspending bait - usually minnows or leeches - and run these poles by boat every couple hours during the night. On good nights we may run 50 poles and catch 200 catfish or more over 2 nights running.
    Anyway we set out some poles and run a cpl times that night - went back at first light and several were stolen - there were several cheaply done ones stuck in however very close to where ours had been. I had been working 7 days a week for over a month and this was the first time I got out to spend with my son - then about 12 and I was soooo pissed that some jerk had ruined our time out together I was ready to kick some butt! I left a note on one of the poles we found in our spots and said I would shoot their boat and motor full of holes if I caught them and putem in the hospital!
    Well, a few days later one of my employee's came to my house with my "missing" poles, plus a few xtra! He said he was at the bar the night before and met a guy that was nervous as all get out - said he had some poles he had "found left out and thought the owner had lost them" - yeah sure - fresh bait and fish on - Hmmm - anyway he was too scared to bring them to me and knew my employee and asked him to return them and begged him not to tell me his name - and I never did learn who it was - but he knew I was good on my word and would have followed thru on my threats! I will give my shirt off my back to anyone that needs it, but steal from me and I will hunt you down with a passion!
    When asked what state I live in I say "The State of Confusion", better known as IL....

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    My families cabin south of Cantwell was 'safe' from 1963 up until the Parks hwy was built, over a period of years it was entered/broken into over 2 dozen times, the first few times were the most 'productive' for thieves. We lost sleeping bags, propane bottles, boat motors etc.
    The posted and cabled driveway did not deter those determined to steal or 'trash' family property.

    I always hoped to 'catch' at least one, by myself, and alone with them. Probably fortunate for myself and whomever, I didn't.

    However, in the mid 90's, AK ADF&G was parking their 'cub' on floats, utilizing, with permission, our property.
    One day the local F&G officer went flying, leaving his State of AK pick-up parked near the lake, adjacent to our cabin.
    Upon his return, and after tying down the plane, he went to his truck, the side windows were broke out, his radio ripped to shreds,
    and his 12 Ga. shotgun had been pried out of is holder, and was gone. He looked inside the cabin, it was 'trashed', walls were spray painted with graffiti.
    In less than a hour the Troopers notified me, and were actively searching the area and highway for possible suspects.
    I went down to look at the damage, after going thru the cabin with the F&G cop, nothing was visibly missing. So I headed back home, well started to, just when I got to the Parks hwy a Trooper was pulling over a sedan, with 4 people inside. The Trooper ask me if I was armed, which I was., and to cover his back, So I held my 44 mag on the car while he got the driver out, questioning him, then having him open the trunk of the car. With the trunk open, well,, it looked liked the 4 teenagers had just opened their christmas presents, chrome wheels, tape players etc.. After 10 minutes of questioning the driver, he admitted they had damaged the F&G pick-up, cabin and stole the shotgun.
    He also said the shotgun was thrown out when the Trooper turned around on the highway, lights on, to pull them over. The shotgun was only a half mile away and found quickly.

    They had been hitting cabins in-between Wasilla and Cantwell, stealing what they could.

    After stealing the shotgun and doing their damage, they were heading back south, but turned around to head into or nearer Cantwell for more possible loot.

    These boys were very lucky, if they had got caught, with a shotgun in hand, they might have got wounded,,,,,,, and possibly finished off !

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    Member ironartist's Avatar
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    Thieves at the big lake church, that was the BESTdead bad guys don't talk
    Visions Steel/841-WELD(9353)
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    Member thewhop2000's Avatar
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    OK, My little story. While stationed at Little Rock AFB in the 70's, I decided one weekend to drive to Memphis, Tenn., which was about an hour and a half away. While driving and seeing the sights I picked up this young guy hitch hiking along a major road. I was driving a mercury capri at the time and it had a middle console. I had about 30 dollars laid out in the open but was not very concerned about it. While driving him to where he wanted to go, I turned my head to the left to make a turn and while my head was turned, this idiot grabbed my cash and tried to shove it down his sock. I actually saw this happen out of the corner of my eye. Now being a military cop, I had a pistol and handcuffs under my car seat. I slowly pulled out my piece, kept it in my left hand, and proceeded to give him a lecture on how not to steal from a person that was actually helping him out. I instructed him to put my cash back which he did. I told him he was trying to steal from a cop and that was a pretty stupid move to begin with. I then proceeded to drive about ten miles out of Memphis, to a smaller Farm community. I drove till I found a county road that didn't get a lot of traffic. Once I came to a telephone pole with a guide wire hold down, I stopped my car and made him get out. I pulled out my handcuffs and with my pistol on him told him to strip down to his underwear. I then made him handcuff himself to the guide wire. I then got his clothes, put them in my car and just drove off. This was in November so it got a little chilly at night to boot. I wonder how long that idiot stayed there before he was found. I wonder even more if they had to call a cop to undo the cuffs? Every now and then I think of this and can only chuckle as to what ever happened to him and what his story was once found.
    If a dipnetter dips a fish and there is no one around to see/hear it, Did he really dip?

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    Member tboehm's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ironartist View Post
    Thieves at the big lake church, that was the BESTdead bad guys don't talk
    Care to share the story with the rest of us?

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    Member kodiakrain's Avatar
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    Yeah, me too, gotta hear that story, ironartist,

    Man 'o God, packin a Gun? Surprise bad guys......Sounds like a good one. Real Justice can be a drag for some............

    We actually had someone come thru a backdoor left ajar in the church lately, and steal an old offering box, walked right past several electric guitars, etc. grabbed the old box with a little padlock (little slot on top) on a table in entryway, and ran. (used to be an offering box like back in the 70's........)

    Funny thing is they apparently didn't read the front of the box,
    now says "Prayer Requests"

    Awww shucks for the bad guys, no cash, just some of folks problems, and tough times, askin' for some help.
    Probably a Bummer for a selfish guy to discover
    Ten Hours in that little raft off the AK peninsula, blowin' NW 60, in November.... "the Power of Life and Death is in the Tongue," and Yes, God is Good !

  19. #19
    Member AK Ray's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tboehm View Post
    Care to share the story with the rest of us?
    Several years ago (2003) so bear with me if I am not completely accurate. Two guys (Chris Palmer and Francis Jones) broke into a church in Big Lake and were stealing some stuff. This was the second break in I think. The Rev. Phillip Mielke confronts them in the building and shoots one guy dead and wounds the other guy and he manages to drive off. The driver made it all the way home and died there while his girlfriend was calling 911. (details are somewhere on line at ADN but you have to have a paid subscription)

    Here is some stuff from the Mat-Su Frontiersman
    http://www.frontiersman.com/articles...news/news2.txt

    One of the mothers sues the pastor


    The state decides to prosecute the pastor since both guys were shot in the back. It was not justified use of deadly force. Jury in Palmer finds Mielke not quilty.

  20. #20
    Member cdubbin's Avatar
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    Ha Ha! What Would Jesus Carry?
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