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APD Arrests 4 Men in Saturday Series of Armed Robberies

Published On: Dec 24 2013 02:47:35 PM AKST   Updated On: Dec 04 2013 12:22:41 PM AKST

Anchorage police say four men face robbery charges in a busy but short-lived string of Midtown and South Anchorage armed robberies early Saturday morning.

According to a statement from APD spokesperson Jennifer Castro, the suspects -- Miracle Tulimasealii, 23; Tusa Tanuvasa, 18; Siaosi Sila, 20; and Lonnie Reed Jr., 22 -- are each charged with two counts of first-degree robbery.

Police first became involved in the case at 1:15 a.m. Saturday, when they responded to the Hampton Inn at 4301 Credit Union Dr., near the intersection of Tudor Road and C Street.

“It was reported that three Pacific Islander males had entered the lobby; one armed with a shotgun and the two others with handguns,” Castro wrote. “The males were given money from the front counter and left the hotel in a sedan driven by a fourth Pacific Islander male.”

APD was informed of the second robbery, at the Chevron station at 2200 W. Dimond Boulevard, just after 2 a.m.

“It was reported that three Pacific Islander males entered the Chevron, forcing an employee to the floor,” Castro wrote. “One of the males (later identified as Tulimasealii) armed with a shotgun, fired multiple rounds at an ATM inside the store in an attempt to access it but was unsuccessful.”

Castro says that about half an hour later, police were investigating another matter at the Motel 6 at 5000 A St. and encountered the four men, all of whom were arrested.

“(The incident) was unrelated, and conveniently we had identified that the suspects were at the hotel,” Castro said.

According to Castro, nobody was injured in Saturday's events despite the weapon discharges.

"There were no physical injuries, but of course when you experience something like that it's pretty traumatic," Castro said.

One of the arrested men, Siaosi Sila, was earlier taken into custody by APD on May 16, after leading officers seeking to arrest him on a warrant for failing to comply with probation conditions onto thin ice at Cheney Lake. Water rescue units had been sent to the scene before Sila safely surrendered to officers; court records show that he subsequently pleaded guilty to one count of resisting arrest in the incident.

This is a developing story. Please check and the Channel 2 newscasts for updates.