Two charged in Soldotna auto shop car theft

The Chrysler had been stolen out of the parking lot.

Two people from Kenai have been charged with stealing a 2007 Chrysler Sebring from the parking lot of Alyeska Tire in Soldotna, according to an affidavit filed at the Kenai Courthouse on Friday.

Christian Athey, 22, allegedly drove to Alyeska Tire in a black Honda CRV on May 1 and dropped off Karli Bell, 19. Bell then drove away in the Sebring, which she did not own and that she did not have permission to drive, according to the affidavit. The scene was captured by surveillance footage from Alyeska Tire.

Soldotna State Troopers received a call on May 2 from an employee at Alyeska Tire reporting that the Chrysler had been stolen out of the parking lot. The employee told troopers that the vehicle had been dropped off at the tire store a week before and that the keys had been left in the vehicle.

Soldotna Police received information that the CRV was seen driving on the Kenai Spur Highway. Kenai Police located the CRV and identified Athey as the driver.

Athey allegedly admitted that he drove Bell to the automotive shop on the night in question, and that Bell told him that she needed to pick up the Sebring and suggested that the vehicle belonged to her.

A friend of Bell’s was later contacted about the incident and told police that Bell picked her up from a doctor’s appointment while driving the Sebring, and Bell allegedly admitted to her friend that she stole the vehicle.

A search warrant has been requested for Bell, who faces a charge of first-degree vehicle theft, a class C felony. Athey is charged with one count of first-degree vehicle theft as well as one count of promoting contraband in the first degree, a class C felony, and one count of fourth-degree misconduct involving a controlled substance, a class A misdemeanor. Athey was found to be in possession of methamphetamine while being remanded at the Wildwood Pre-Trial Facility, according to the affidavit.

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