Man arrested for stripping stolen truck for parts

A man accused of leading an Alaska State Trooper on an off-road chase in February and scrapping a stolen vehicle for parts was arraigned in a Kenai courthouse Wednesday.

Christopher T. Overhuls, 34, was arrested after troopers seized a flatbed trailer loaded with parts they believe came from a stolen red Toyota pickup, according to a trooper affidavit filed with the court.

Troopers found the flatbed near a Strawberry Road property on March 13, after a report of a suspicious vehicle in the area, according to the affidavit. While investigating the report, troopers allegedly found Overhuls, the trailer, five to six cars and a number of parts, including an engine connected to a transmission, front and rear suspensions, drive shaft, shocks, front and rear axles and tires mounted on rims, in the area.

The distinctive nature of the stolen Toyota, which had been customized by a previous owner, allowed troopers to identify the parts found in the trailer bed, according to the affidavit. The owner of a nearby Strawberry Road property told investigators that Overhuls had been working on vehicles in hopes of selling them, troopers reported.

Soldotna police reported finding the cab and bed from the stolen Toyota pickup abandoned on a Soldotna road earlier this month.

Overhuls also faces charges related to a Feb. 14 incident, in which he allegedly eluded pursuit by a trooper who was investigating potential trespassing at a Sterling auto body shop.

The pursuit began in the early hours of the morning, after the trooper spotted a red Toyota pickup — later identified as the stolen vehicle — in front of B&D Auto, according to the affidavit. The trooper reported that when he turned into the B&D driveway, he met the truck head on. The driver of the pickup allegedly reversed through the parking lot, onto the highway and then did a 180-degree turn into the southbound lane.

The trooper reported following the truck along the highway and onto a back road in Sterling near Eagleson Avenue and Higher Ground Street until both drivers found themselves unable to scale a large hill. The driver of the pickup then turned and drove toward the trooper, side swiping his vehicle in the process, according to the affidavit.

The trooper later identified Overhuls as the driver in the pickup.

Overhuls is charged with one count of first-degree vehicle theft, a class C felony; one count of first-degree failure to stop at the direction of a peace officer, a class C felony; one count of third-degree assault, a class C felony; one count of tampering with physical evidence, a class C felony; one count of third-degree criminal mischief, a class C felony; one-count of misdemeanor reckless driving; one count of fourth-degree criminal mischief, a class A misdemeanor; and one count of first-degree criminal trespass, a class misdemeanor. His next hearing is scheduled for March 27.

More in News

Bradley Walters leads the pack up Angle Hill on Wednesday, July 18, 2018, at the Salmon Run Series at Tsalteshi Trails. (Photo by Jeff Helminiak/Peninsula Clarion)
Summer races kick off at Tsalteshi

The annual Salmon Run Series 5K races start on July 6 and continue every Wednesday through Aug. 3

Central Emergency Services staff wait to receive doses of Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine on Friday, Dec. 18, 2020, in Soldotna, Alaska. (Ashlyn O’Hara/Peninsula Clarion)
Assembly mulls bond for new CES fire station

Replacement of the current station is estimated to cost $16.5 million

Buldozers sit outside of the former Kenai Bowling Alley on Thursday, June 23, 2022, in Kenai, Alaska. (Ashlyn O’Hara/Peninsula Clarion)
Old Kenai bowling alley comes down

The business closed in 2015

Landslide debris surrounds part of Lowell Point Road on Friday, June 3, 2022, in Seward, Alaska. (Ashlyn O’Hara/Peninsula Clarion)
Assembly looks to mitigate future Lowell Point Road dangers

Assembly members approved legislation supporting agencies working to address the “repetitive hazards”

The Alaska Department of Health And Social Services building in Juneau has no visible signs indicating the department is splitting into two agencies as of Friday. Top officials at the department said many of the changes, both physical and in services, are likely weeks and in some cases months away. (Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire)
Little sign of big change for DHSS

No commissioner at new department, other Department of Health and Social Services changes may take months

Nate Rochon cleans fish after dipnetting in the Kasilof River, on June 25, 2019, in Kasilof, Alaska. (Photo by Victoria Petersen/Peninsula Clarion)
King closures continue; Kasilof dipnet opens Saturday

The early-run Kenai River king sport fishery remains closed, and fishing for kings of any size is prohibited

An "Al Gross for Congress" sign sits near the driveway to Gross’ home in Anchorage, Alaska, on Tuesday, June 21, 2022, after he announced plans to withdraw from the U.S. House race. Gross has given little explanation in two statements for why he is ending his campaign, and a woman who answered the door at the Gross home asked a reporter to leave the property. (AP Photo/Mark Thiessen)
Alaska judge rules Sweeney won’t advance to special election

JUNEAU — A state court judge ruled Friday that Alaska elections officials… Continue reading

Ashlyn O’Hara/Peninsula Clarion 
Soldotna City Manager Stephanie Queen listens to a presentation from Alaska Communications during a meeting of the Soldotna City Council on Wednesday, March 9, 2022 in Soldotna, Alaska.
ACS pilots fiber program in certain peninsula neighborhoods

The fiber to the home service will make available the fastest internet home speeds on the peninsula

Most Read