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Mat-Su Valley Gets New Crime Unit

By Garrett Turner, Reporter/Anchor, gturner@ktuu.com
Published On: Dec 18 2013 10:00:00 PM AKST

Facebook group is making a dent in Valley crime.

ANCHORAGE -

It all started with a click and a pic. Last summer, Vicki Wallner and her neighbors shared a photo of a truck they suspected of committing property theft, popularly called a "stop and grab" where burglars drive by a house and grab what they can.

"If we knew about this truck, then more people could watch out for it," Wallner said.

It was that thought that lead to an idea for the Facebook page "Stop Valley Thieves." Wallner originally created the page back in July for her close friends, but today it has more than three thousand members.

"We've recovered several things because of our group," Wallner said. "We post pictures and then people will see it somewhere."

The Alaska State Troopers will soon have extra patrols dedicated to property crimes, due to extra room in the budget and approval from both the state legislature and governor. Troopers say property crime is a growing problem in the Mat-Su Valley and starting next month a group of three troopers and one sergeant will be commissioned to tackle the issue.

"You may not have very many people home, but it doesn't mean it's not a victimless crime," Capt. Hans Brinke said. "Someone who's going to come home and figure out their house has been burglarized is going to take it a little personal."

The Criminal Suppression unit or CSU will make it their personal responsibility to investigate property crimes all across the Mat-Su borough and hold the criminals personally accountable.