An Anchorage man was indicted Monday on 10 charges of alleged theft and burglary of a Nikiski home last month.
Michael Stanford, 38, was arraigned in Kenai Superior Court Tuesday on charges of burglary in the first degree, burglary in the second degree and eight counts of theft in the second degree. Burglary in the first degree is a class B felony and if convicted carries a maximum 10 years in prison and up to $250,000 fine.
Nikiski resident Jennifer Colton reported the theft to Alaska State Troopers at her home on Nov. 22. Colton also posted photos of her stolen firearms and power tools on Facebook.
Among the stolen firearms were two Colt AR-15s, two revolvers, a Winchester .243, and a 12-gauge shotgun.
Colton posted the photos and described the missing items on the Kenai Peninsula Crime Talk page.
“Looks like I have been taken to the cleaners,” the post read. “Please keep an eye out. … Shows you who your friends are!”
Stanford was arrested the next day after a man who purchased the firearms from Stanford contacted troopers after he saw the Facebook post.
According to a trooper affidavit filed Monday in Kenai Superior Court, Stanford “showed up unexpectedly” to Colton’s residence on Emerald Street in Nikiski on Nov. 15 to work on a trailer he intended to buy. The next day, Colton invited Stanford to sleep at their house after she noticed Stanford sleeping in his truck at Nikiski Elementary School.
Stanford and his wife Susan Leon had stayed at Colton’s home for about a week while they were working on the trailer. Colton noticed missing items from the house and shop including six firearms and several power tools for a total value of more than $6,300, according to the affidavit.
The man who purchased the firearms, Kevin Best, contacted the Soldotna troopers after he saw the Facebook post. Best identified Stanford out of a photo line-up and provided troopers photos and text messages from Stanford. Best told troopers he paid $2,000 for all the guns, according to the report.
Troopers contacted Stanford at his mother’s residence on Nov. 23 on Cook Avenue in Kenai. Stanford told troopers he received the firearms from a man in Anchor Point as payment for hauling trash and returned the power tools to Colton, according to the report.
After he was arrested and read his rights, he provided information on the whereabouts of the power tools. Stanford told troopers he went back to Colton’s residence and returned the items while they were gone, according to the report.
All the stolen items were found at several locations in Kenai and Nikiski and returned.
Stanford is currently jailed at Wildwood Pretrial Facility. Superior Court Judge Charles Huguelet set Stanford’s bail at $10,000 cash with $5,000 unsecured and ordered him to have a third-party custodian.
Stanford’s next court date is Jan. 30, 2015 in Kenai.
Reach Dan Balmer at firstname.lastname@example.org.