WASILLA — A local business owner is frustrated with a pattern of theft from his store and the subsequent lack of law enforcement action to bring local criminals to justice.
Feb. 4, a thief scampered out of Fish Creek Sales on the Palmer-Wasilla Highway with three high-end Klim jackets and a Klim backpack, totaling $1,300 in stolen goods. Fish Creek Sales owner Scott Rideout filed a report with the Alaska State Troopers (AK20008217) and took to the internet to attempt to locate the perpetrator who was caught on camera running out of the store and jumping into a Plymouth minivan before fleeing.
“One time won’t put us out of business but the fact of the matter is it’s not the first time. If it’s continued and troopers aren’t going to do anything about it and people think they can just do this and get away with it, it will put businesses like us out of business,” said Rideout.
Rideout was at work on Feb. 4 in the office behind the counter at Fish Creek Sales when the thief positioned himself out of sight from the office, but not from the camera positioned at the door.
“The camera by our door I can tell you has been the most useful for everything because it gets a good face shot right out the door. There’s no way to get past that camera without getting a face shot,” said Rideout. “The Valley is obviously tired of the junkie business going on and the theft and all that and honestly kind of tired of the troopers not doing anything about it either.”
Through shares and comments on Rideout’s posts, he has been able to locate the thief and confirm that he is wearing the stolen jackets. Rideout has communicated that information to the troopers, but the gear remains with the man who stole the goods. Most frustrating to Rideout is that over a year ago, Rideout said goods were shoplifted from Fish Creek Sales by someone living at the same house as the man who stole the jackets and backpacks last week. No charges were filed a year ago, and while Rideout sympathizes with the staffing shortage of troopers in the Valley, he remains frustrated that the evidence he has of the theft that happened last week has not resulted in any charges being filed.