PALMER — Alaska State Troopers say a heroin user breaking into cars was caught with help from a victim with reliable records and a store clerk who knew the woman from when they used to work together.
According to documents Trooper Lance Silva filed in court, the case began, at least for troopers, with a report of a theft from a car at 5:02 p.m., July 17.
Silva writes that a woman called troopers to say a backpack had been stolen from her car. The backpack held her credit cards and wallets.
“Bank records showed that the credit cards were being used at multiple stores in the Wasilla area,” Silva wrote.
The woman gave Silva a detailed list of all the places the cards were used. There were five businesses for a total loss of $674.73 before the card was canceled.
So Silva made the rounds. In his court documents, the first stop Silva mentions is the Tesoro store at Parks Highway and Main Street. He interviewed the store manager, who said he remembered the transaction because he talked to the woman swiping the card.
“(He) did not ask for ID, but recognized the female using (the) credit card as being a female he once worked with several years ago at the Wasilla Wal-Mart McDonald’s. (He) mentioned it to the female who confirmed she, too, worked at McDonald’s. (He could not remember the name of the female, but knew it was not (the name on the card),” Silva wrote.
Several days later, the clerk called Silva back to give him a name: Sadie Douglas.
But before that happened, Silva checked out all the other businesses the card was used at: Carquest in Wasilla, Perfect Start Coffee Shop, the Tesoro at Parks Highway and Pittman Road, and the Holliday store, also at Parks and Pittman.
Tesoro and Holliday gave him videotapes. Some clerks said they remembered the transactions and gave descriptions of the woman using the card. In all cases the descriptions matched both what was on the video and the first Tesoro clerk’s description.
“Douglas’s clothes are exactly the same in all the surveillance videos, except she would change her hat,” Silva wrote. “I created a photo lineup for Douglas. All of the cashiers of the stores where Douglas used the stolen card positively identified Douglas as the person using the stolen credit card.”
Silva also mentions another stolen card that was used at Walgreens and in which Douglas appears on surveillance tapes. He says charges are pending on that case.
The last date in which Silva mentions investigating the case is July 19. Douglas was arrested Aug. 8 when, at 8:22 a.m., two other troopers — Ronald Hayes and Sgt. Tony Wegrzyn — went out to a house on Porcupine Avenue in Wasilla to find her.
“Douglas was contacted sleeping in a vehicle on the property,” Silva wrote.
She at first denied using the cards, he writes, but was confronted with evidence troopers had and confessed.
“Douglas further stated she got the credit cards by breaking into vehicles and could not say where she dumped the victim’s contents,” Silva wrote. “She was taught how to break into vehicles by friends. All the items she bought with the credit cards were stolen from her and she didn’t know where they were. She no longer had the cowboy hat she wore in one of the videos. Douglas was using heroin and she had heroin in her purse.”
She was eventually charged with five counts of fraud, two of theft, one of trespassing in a vehicle and two of drug possession. All of the charges are felonies except the trespassing charge. As of Saturday afternoon, she’d posted bail and been released from jail.
Contact Andrew Wellner at 352-2270 or