Soldotna residents arrested for string of burglaries

Editor’s note: This story has been updated to reflect that the vehicle driven by Cunningham, Self and Woodruff belonged to a family member of Cunningham’s.

Three Soldotna residents have been arrested on multiple charges relating to a series of burglaries.

Tayler Cunningham, 23, Russell Self, 24, and Cory Woodruff, 23, were originally stopped by Soldotna Police on Jan. 16, but were released from the traffic stop, according to an Alaska State Trooper online dispatch. Soldotna Police forwarded the case to troopers, who investigated and “determined the three were responsible for a theft and burglary of a property in Sterling,” troopers wrote in the dispatch.

On Saturday, troopers executed a search warrant at the home where Cunningham and Self live.

“As a result of the search warrant service, thousands of dollars of stolen property determined to be related to multiple burglaries and a vehicle theft was discovered,” troopers wrote in the dispatch.

Cunningham and Self were arrested Saturday. They are both charged with three counts of first-degree burglary, four counts of second-degree theft, a count of first-degree vehicle theft and a count of fourth-degree misconduct involving a controlled substance.

Troopers arrested Woodruff on Sunday on charges of first-degree burglary, second-degree theft and second-degree hindering prosecution.

The stolen items from the Sterling residence burglary were in a trailer being pulled behind the vehicle the three were in on Jan. 16, and include a Yamaha ATV, the ATV trailer itself, propane tanks, two generators, fishing poles and various household items, according to an affidavit signed by Trooper Casey Hershberger.

The 1994 Ford the group was driving turned out to belong to one of Cunningham’s family members, Hershberger wrote in a separate affidavit about the same incident.

“During a further search of the green Ford burglary, tools were discovered,” he wrote.

When troopers searched the home of Cunningham and Self on Saturday, they found stolen property from at “least two more theft and burglaries” reported on Jan. 13 and Jan. 27, according to the affidavit.

“Both burglaries had thousands of dollars of property stolen,” Hershberger wrote in the affidavit.

Alaska State Troopers Public Information Officer Megan Peters said in an email that the owners of the original burglarized Sterling residence were unaware they had been stolen from until troopers investigated.

On Saturday, Self told troopers Woodruff had been present at the Sterling residence burglary. In turn, Woodruff told troopers he had been with Cunningham and Self before and after that burglary, but not during, according to the affidavit.

Cunningham and Self were arraigned at the Kenai Courthouse on Sunday and Woodruff was arraigned Monday. Their preliminary hearings are set for Feb. 10 and Feb. 11, respectively.

First-degree burglary is a class B felony, while second-degree theft, vehicle theft and fourth-degree misconduct involving a controlled substance are class C felonies. Hindering prosecution in the second degree is a class B misdemeanor. In Alaska, class B felonies are punishable by up to 10 years in prison and a fine of up to $100,000, class B felonies are punishable by up to five years in prison and a fine of up to $50,000, and class B misdemeanors can earn up to 90 days in jail and a fine of up to $2,000.

 

Reach Megan Pacer at megan.pacer@peninsulaclarion.com.

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