Nikiski man arraigned on additional theft charges

A Nikiski man accused of multiple thefts in the Nikiski and Sterling areas was arraigned on five more felony charges Tuesday in Kenai Superior Court.

Brandon Bernier, 35, was originally arrested and charged in 2015 with a vehicle theft and burglary in Sterling. His case became known locally in September 2015 after a community watch group in Sterling chased him and held him until Alaska State Troopers arrived to arrest him.

In Superior Court Tuesday, Bernier pleaded not guilty to five additional charges related to trespassing and thefts in Nikiski and Sterling. The state alleges that Bernier stole several four-wheelers, snowmachines, cars, a tractor, food, kitchen supplies and power tools, among other items, from homes from June through September 2015.

He is also charged with damaging some of the vehicles he allegedly stole.

The state also added several misdemeanors to his earlier charges for trespassing and property damage.

According to the indictments, he trespassed on a Sterling man’s property and stole a Honda Civic and damaged both the car and the chain across another man’s driveway. He allegedly entered another home in Sterling in an attempted theft 10 days earlier, and the state added misdemeanor charges for trespassing and attempted theft, according to the indictments.

Bernier is facing 26 counts total. Of those, 10 are class C felonies, which carry a maximum penalty of five years’ imprisonment and a fine of up to $50,000.

Five are class B felonies, which carry a maximum penalty of 10 years’ imprisonment and a fine of up to $100,000.

Eight are class A misdemeanors, punishable by up to one year in prison and a $10,000 fine.

Three are class B misdemeanors, which are punishable by up to 90 days in prison and a $2,000 fine.

At Tuesday’s arraignment, Superior Court Judge Carl Bauman scheduled Bernier’s next omnibus hearing for Aug. 22.

Reach Elizabeth Earl at

More in News

The Homer Spit is evacuated during the July 28 tsunami warning at about 10:50 p.m. (Photo by Sarah Knapp/Homer News)
Tsunami warning test scheduled for Wednesday morning

The National Weather Service will conduct a statewide test of the tsunami… Continue reading

A mock up of the Soldotna Field House. (Photo via City of Soldotna)
Soldotna designates field house funds

Construction of a field house in Soldotna took a step forward last… Continue reading

Rep. Ben Carpenter, R-Nikiski, speaks during a meeting of the House State Affairs committee on Tuesday, March 28, 2023 in Juneau, Alaska. (Mark Sabbatini/Juneau Empire)
Carpenter, Ruffridge target state finances

The central Kenai Peninsula’s representatives in the Alaska House of Representatives have… Continue reading

COVID-19. (Image courtesy CDC)
COVID-19: Local cases fall after last week’s spike

After a spike of 50 new COVID-19 cases was reported in the… Continue reading

A tripod set by the Soldotna and Kenai Rotary Clubs stands over the ice of the Kenai River in Soldotna, Alaska on Tuesday, March 28, 2023. (Jake Dye/Peninsula Clarion)
Local Rotary Clubs testing new contest for next winter

The Rotary Clubs of Soldotna and Kenai are performing a test in… Continue reading

Alaska State Troopers logo.
State Trooper convicted of attempted sexual abuse of a minor

Vance Peronto, formerly an Alaska State Trooper based in Soldotna, was convicted… Continue reading

Soldotna City Hall is seen on Wednesday, June 23, 2021 in Soldotna, Alaska. (Ashlyn O’Hara/Peninsula Clarion)
Soldotna moves ahead with staff recruitment strategies

Soldotna City Council members last week gave city administration a thumbs up… Continue reading

State representatives Tom McKay, R-Anchorage, and Andi Story, D-Juneau, offering competing amendments to a bill increasing the per-student funding formula for public schools by $1,250 during a House Education Committee meeting Wednesday morning. McKay’s proposal to lower the increase to $150 was defeated. Story’s proposal to implement an increase during the next two years was approved, after her proposed amounts totalling about $1,500 were reduced to $800.
Borough, Soldotna call on Legislature to increase school funding

The City of Soldotna last week became the latest entity to call… Continue reading

Kenai River Brown Bears goalie Nils Wallstrom celebrates winning a shootout over the Fairbanks Ice Dogs on Saturday, March 25, 2023, at the Soldotna Regional Sports Complex in Soldotna, Alaska. (Photo by Jeff Helminiak/Peninsula Clarion)
Brown Bears sweep Ice Dogs, move into 3rd place

The Kenai River Brown Bears earned a two-game sweep over the Fairbanks… Continue reading

Most Read