Editor’s Note: This story has been changed to remove a false name the suspect gave to police. The name is of someone who lives in the area.
An Anchorage woman, arrested in a Dec. 4 break-in of a Soldotna home, pleaded not guilty to burglary and theft charges Tuesday in Kenai Superior Court.
Last Friday, a Kenai Grand Jury indicted Cynthia Skidmore, 37, on five counts: first-degree burglary, second-degree burglary, second-degree theft, providing false information and fifth-degree criminal mischief.
First-degree burglary is a class B felony and is punishable by up to 10 years in jail and $100,000 fine. Second-degree burglary and theft are both class C felonies.
Skidmore was arrested the same night Soldotna Police and Alaska State Troopers responded to a report of a burglary at about 1:20 a.m. on Irons Avenue in Soldotna.
A neighbor called 911 and reported she saw two people, a man and a woman in dark clothing, carrying grocery bags while leaving a residence on Irons Avenue and walking toward Knight Drive, according to a trooper affidavit.
Soldotna police officer Mitchell Burdick located Skidmore walking on nearby Crest Drive. Skidmore gave a false name at first, but later gave her real name when she was booked at Wildwood Pretrial Facility.
According to court records, Skidmore had an outstanding arrest warrant from a 2013 Kenai case where she pleaded guilty to first-degree vehicle theft and served 90 days in jail and was given two years probation.
During his investigation, trooper Sgt. Jeremy Grieme found two sets of shoe tracks in the snow on Glory Street that went in the direction of Knight Drive and into the woods. The tracks led Grieme to the neighbor’s house that called to report the burglary.
When first contacted by police, Skidmore had a backpack and her breath smelled of alcohol. Skidmore was wearing a pair of dress boots that matched the shoe tracks that led up to the stairs of the house on Irons Avenue and across the property to a padlocked shed that had been left open, according to the report.
Skidmore told police she was walking to her friend’s house and went through the woods because “someone was following her, but she never saw them.” She denied going into the house or taking anything, according to the report.
Authorities entered the home on Irons Avenue and found the front door jamb was broken and split apart as though it had been kicked open. Fresh snow was on the floor through the house and several cabinets and drawers had been left open. Fresh snow prints were also found inside the shed.
According to the affidavit, when Skidmore was placed under arrest, she said, “What if I did sit on the porch? I don’t know. I’m drunk.” Skidmore blew a 0.17 on a breath test.
The owner of the home, Mark Ross, was unable to be contacted because he lives in Nebraska. Troopers don’t know what, if any, items were stolen from the house or shed, according to the report.
Troopers had the neighbor look at Skidmore to see if she matched the description of the woman seen exiting the house on Irons Avenue. The neighbor stated “she was not certain” but she “had the same body as the woman she saw leave the home.”
Police continued to search for the larger shoe tracks to a residence on Marshall Drive. A homeowner told police that Skidmore had left his house a few hours earlier with a man named “Ed.” Police were not able to locate the other person involved in the suspected burglary, according to the report.
Kenai Superior Court Judge Charles Huguelet set Skidmore’s bail at $5,000 cash performance and $2,500 cash appearance. Skidmore’s next court date is Jan. 30, 2015.
Reach Dan Balmer at email@example.com.