A rash of thefts in Nikiski last weekend have brought affected residents to a tipping point.
The owners of two Nikiski companies reported thefts on their property that occurred sometime between Saturday night and Sunday morning, said Nikiski resident Ann Krogseng.
More than $5,000 worth of equipment was stolen from AA Dan’s Construction, said Ann Krogseng, co-owner with her husband Dan Krogseng. The thieves took five sets of tires, ripped out lights from trucks, stole a plow and siphoned gas out of the tanks, she said.
“In talking with others we found out other people who have been targeted,” she said. “The number of people affected keeps growing.”
Toni and Kenny Dyer with Water Systems and Service Company, returned to their Nikiksi well drilling business Monday morning to find wires cut out of their truck engine and welding equipment stolen. The extent of the damage has temporarily put them out of business during a normally busy time of year.
“It is beyond frustrating,” Toni Dyer said. “The people responsible knew what they were doing. We have been robbed before and I want them to know they messed with the wrong people.”
Toni Dyer said she is offering a reward of $5,000 to anyone with information about the theft.
“The people who did it don’t have any money that’s why they are stealing in the first place,” Dyer said. “We put out the reward in hopes some guy who needs the money will turn on his friend.”
Both reports have been filed Alaska State Troopers. Krogseng said with the increase of these types of “crimes of opportunity” in the Nikiski area, is another example that more of a trooper presence in the area is needed.
“The thieves are getting more brave and think they can get away with it,” she said. “Its the same old story the troopers are understaffed and the (District Attorney) is overwhelmed with too many people in prison.”
A community meeting is scheduled Wednesday at 7 p.m. at the Nikiski Community Center to address the growing number of thefts.
Krongseng said she has contacted several local politicians including House Speaker Mike Chenault, R-Nikiski and invited Sen. Peter Micciche, R-Soldotna and Trooper Cap. Andy Greenstreet, Kenai Peninsula Borough Mayor Mike Navarre, borough mayor candidate Tom Bearup and borough assemblyman Kelly Wolf. She said she was hoping to form a group to address the thefts.
The intention of the meeting is not political rather it is a chance for victims in the community to come out of the darkness to address the pattern of theft that seems to go unchecked, Krogseng said.
“Nikiski brings enough tax base revenue to the borough and with the growth expected something needs to be done,” she said. “Thefts keep rearing its ugly head. It’s like a bees swarming. People are getting angrier.”
Reach Dan Balmer at email@example.com