Eagle River business frustrated after thieves steal, trash 3 ATVs

Friday, October 5, 2018 - 11:29

Employees at Eagle River Polaris Arctic Cat in Eagle River got an unpleasant surprise the morning of Friday, Sept. 7, when they arrived at the Eagle River shop to find three vehicles had disappeared overnight.

“They cut the fence from the highway and then they proceeded to cut the fence in the back of our yard,” said managing member Paul Hughes.

Missing were a green 2018 Polaris ATV, a 2006 Polaris Sportsman and a Polaris Ranger 1000. Two of the vehicles had been dropped off for service, while another was on the lot for sale.

Hughes said security cameras showed the thieves driving away from the dealership at around 3:40 a.m.; cameras were unable to get a good picture of the suspects.

“It was pretty grainy,” Hughes said.

As of Friday, Sept. 14, two of the vehicles had been recovered — though trashed — while the 2018 Polaris was still missing.

According to the Anchorage Police Department, the 2006 Sportsman was found abandoned off Birchwood Spur on the same day it was stolen; the Ranger was located the next day behind a Conex near the corner of Dogwood Drive and Sumac Road in Chugiak.

Hughes said the machines were pretty banged up.

“Both of them looked like they’d been to hell and back,” he said.

It’s not the first time the business has been hit; Hughes said the shop was also victimized this winter, when someone cut through the fence and stole snowmachines. Hughes said the machines were recovered, but no charges were ever filed.

“They were all at one house but nothing happened because of the laws that we are living by now,” he said.

Hughes said shop owners have been looking into additional security measures for the business, which is located near the Glenn Highway and adjacent bike path.

“You just have to blockade things,” he said. “What else do you do?”

The thefts are a major inconvenience for both the shop and the vehicle owners, he said, who this time of year are usually moose hunters looking to get their rigs serviced. He said the shop is responsible for any insurance claims that arise — which could result in an increase in rates.

“It’s just expensive, time-consuming, unproductive — all of the above,” he said.

Anyone with information about the thefts can call the Anchorage Police Department non-emergency line at 311. The case number for the still-missing Polaris is 18-36094.

Email Star editor Matt Tunseth at [email protected]

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