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Burglary suspect in Alaska attempts getaway in front-end loader

By Ben Hooper
Burglary suspect in Alaska attempts getaway in front-end loader
An Anchorage liquor store damaged by a suspect who crashed a front-end loader into the shop. Photo courtesy of the Anchorage Police Department

ANCHORAGE, Alaska, June 1 (UPI) -- Alaska police said a burglary suspect accused of using a front-end loader to smash his way into a store led officers on a slow-speed chase through the city.

The Anchorage Police Department said a witness flagged down an officer about 3:20 a.m. and reported seeing a man crash a front-end loader into a closed liquor store in the early hours of Thursday and flee in the construction vehicle with several pilfered bottles of liquor.

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"Officers located the front loader and were engaged in a pursuit for several minutes," police said in a Facebook post. "The driver of the front loader was impaired and as you can see in the video, trying to safely stop the machine posed many challenges for officers. It is a blessing that no one was physically injured in this incident, however, there was major property damage done to the business."

The vehicle, which was determined to have been stolen from a construction site, was finally stopped when officers blocked the exit to an RV park.

The driver, Joseph Martin, 38, was arrested on charges including criminal mischief, failure to stop at the direction of an officer, theft, criminal trespassing, burglary, felony DUI and felony refusal to submit.

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