Sterling man charged with burglarizing vacant residence

Sterling man charged with burglarizing vacant residence

A man has been charged with burglary after being arrested outside of an unoccupied residence in Sterling.

On March 3, troopers responded to a call about a suspicious vehicle in a Sterling neighborhood, according to an affidavit filed at the Kenai Courthouse on March 4. A neighbor reported that a black Mercury was outside of a home that the neighbor knew to be unoccupied.

When an Alaska State Trooper arrived on scene, Mason Baldwin, 41, was allegedly standing near the front gate of the residence and attempted to hide behind the car. According to the affidavit, there was a dremel tool and a headlamp on the ground near Baldwin. Inside the car, the trooper identified a crow bar, a come-along, wire cutters, a car battery and two walkie talkies.

While investigating the residence, troopers confirmed that the front door had been forced open and found numerous household items including a sewing machine and fishing poles located next to the front entrance.

While being questioned by troopers, Baldwin allegedly claimed that an acquaintance had asked him to help pick up a generator from the residence.

According to the affidavit, Baldwin said that his acquaintance had likely burglarized the residence but denied having any involvement.

When confronted with the fact that the boot prints surrounding the property matched the boots that Baldwin was wearing, Baldwin allegedly claimed that the boots did not belong to him. Baldwin was ultimately arrested and transported to the Wildwood Pretrial Facility.

Troopers confirmed that the owners of the residence are deceased and have been unable to identify next of kin.

Baldwin faces one count of first-degree burglary, a class B felony, one count of second-degree theft, a class C felony, one count of possession of burglary tools, a class A misdemeanor, one count of fifth-degree criminal mischief, a class B misdemeanor, and one count of violating the conditions of release, a class B misdemeanor.

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