Laone Benton sits beside the shattered window that was broken in attempt to steal money from the store she owns, Tuesday, April 1, At Laone's Kenai River Purse.

Laone Benton sits beside the shattered window that was broken in attempt to steal money from the store she owns, Tuesday, April 1, At Laone's Kenai River Purse.

Peninsula Center Mall burglarized

  • By DAN BALMER
  • Tuesday, April 1, 2014 10:36pm
  • News

Three businesses inside the Peninsula Center Mall were burglarized overnight in Soldotna.

Soldotna police received a call from a mall employee who reported the break in at approximately 7:18 a.m. Tuesday.

Officer Tobin Brennan said the incident is still under investigation.

Once inside the mall the suspects forced entry into three businesses, Ginger’s Restaurant, Laone’s Kenai River Purse and 27 Red Salon, Brennan said. A small amount of cash was stolen from the restaurant, but no cash had been left on the premises of the purse store or salon, he said.

By using video surveillance, police were able to follow the path the suspects took to break into the businesses. The suspects first broke into the purse store through the front door window to get to the cash register, he said.

Laone Benton, who has owned the purse store for more than five years, said she does not keep money in the store at night because the mall has been burglarized before. While no merchandize was stolen, she was shocked to see the condition of her shop when she arrived to work.

“There was broken glass on the floor and everything was shoved around to get to the register,” she said. “I sure hope (police) have a good idea who did this and they don’t get away with it.”

Brennan said the suspects then pried into the door of the restaurant and took a small amount of cash from the register.

The back door to the salon was kicked open, but no items were stolen, he said.

The suspects were inside the mall roughly 15 minutes and it wasn’t until the morning when a mall janitor called police about the intrusion, he said.

The damage is estimated at less than $4,000, with most of the damage done to the broken window at the purse store, he said.

“It is less about the money and more about the property damage,” Brennan said.

Soldotna police are following leads in the investigation. Anyone with information is asked to contact Officer Brennan with the Soldotna Police Department at 262-4455.

Reach Dan Balmer at daniel.balmer@peninsulaclarion.com.

More in News

Kenai Fire Marshal Jeremy Hamilton is seen by one of Kenai Fire Department’s Tower trucks on Friday, Sept. 30, 2022 at Kenai Fire Department in Kenai, Alaska. (Jake Dye/Peninsula Clarion)
‘Get up, get out and get safe’

Kids taught about fire safety as part of prevention effort

Bob Bird, left, chairman of the Alaskan Independence Party, and former Lt. Gov. Loren Leman make the case in favor of a state constitutional convention during a debate in Anchorage broadcast Thursday by Alaska Public Media. (Screenshot from Alaska Public Media’s YouTube channel)
Constitutional convention debate gets heated

Abortion, PFD factor into forum.

Carol Freas (right) helps a voter fill out absentee election materials in Kenai City Hall ahead of the Oct. 4 municipal election on Thursday, Sept. 29, 2022 in Kenai, Alaska. (Ashlyn O’Hara/Peninsula Clarion)
Absentee voting already underway

Absentee in-person voting has been made available across the borough

Graphic by Ashlyn O’Hara
Graphic by Ashlyn O’Hara
What’s on the ballot: Reapportionment, new field house, school bond

Voters will decide on ballot measures that address schools, public safety and legislative bodies

Cars line up ahead of dismissal at Mountain View Elementary School on Thursday, September 29, 2022, in Kenai, Alaska. A bond package up for consideration by Kenai Peninsula Borough voters on Oct. 4 would fund improvements to the school’s traffic flow. (Ashlyn O’Hara/Peninsula Clarion)
‘Critical needs’: Parking lot problems

Lack of space for pickup and drop-offs creates traffic jam at elementary school

Soldotna Elementary School Principal Dr. Austin Stevenson points out elements of the school building on Friday, Sept. 30, 2022, in Soldotna, Alaska. (Ashlyn O’Hara/Peninsula Clarion)
‘Critical needs’: Aging school on the brink

Renovations are cost prohibitive at Soldotna Elementary

Rep. Mary Peltola, an Alaska Democrat, delivers a speech on the U.S. House floor before Thursday’s vote approving her first bill, establishing an Office of Food Security in the Department of Veterans Affairs. It passed the House by a 376-49 vote, although its fate in the Senate is undetermined. (Screenshot from official U.S. House video)
Poll: Peltola’s a popular pol

Food for vets bill passes House, pollster says she is “the most popular figure in Alaska right now.”

A parking sign awaits the new executive director of the Alaska Permanent Fund at its Juneau headquarters, Three finalists will be interviewed for the job during a public meeting Monday by the fund’s board of trustees, who are expected to deliberate and announce the new director immediately afterward. (Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire)
Interviews, selection of new Permanent Fund CEO set for Monday

Three finalists seeking to manage $73.7B fund to appear before trustees at public meeting in Juneau

Principal Sarge Truesdell looks at cracked siding outside of Soldotna High School on Tuesday, Sept. 27, 2022, in Soldotna, Alaska. The siding is one of several projects in a bond package Kenai Peninsula voters will consider during the Oct. 4 municipal election. (Ashlyn O’Hara/Peninsula Clarion)
‘Critical needs’: Split siding at SoHi

The damage has been given patchwork treatment over the years

Most Read