ANCHORAGE, ALASKA — Fast thinking security guards, with the assistance of an armed bystander, subdued an armed 18-year-old shoplifter who attempted to draw down before being tackled and held at gunpoint. Thankfully, nobody was injured though the mall was briefly evacuated until authorities could be sure there was no further threat. As the Alaska Dispatch reports, people commended both store employees and those who responded to the threat with conducting themselves professionally.
“Employees believed the man was attempting to conceal the clothing in a bag while in the fitting room and alerted mall security,” Shell wrote. “As the suspicious man left the store, he was confronted by mall security and a struggle ensued over the bag containing stolen goods. During the struggle, the suspect drew a gun from his waistband; however, a good Samaritan, also armed with a gun, stepped in and assisted security in taking the man into custody.”
The suspect in this case was found to be in possession of nearly $1,200 worth of goods and clothing from Buckle Clothing Shop — showing clear evidence that this shoplifter has big issues with making good judgement calls. Mall security declined to comment on the case and the matter has been handed over to the Anchorage Police Department who have the suspect in custody. The armed robber was charged with robbery, theft, four counts of assault and being held on a $10,000 bond at the Anchorage jail.
Alaska is a constitutional carry state where law-abiding gun owners may carry open or concealed as they mostly see fit. However, if approached by law enforcement, the gun carrier is required by law to declare his possession of a firearm. Upon declaration, authorities may temporarily confiscate the gun for the duration of an inquiry or interaction. No word on the role of this particular gun owner who stepped in to assist security but it appears everyone’s perfectly okay with how he handled himself.
As a concealed carrier in the lower 48, it’s generally advised to only step in the middle of an internal affair if there is a clear and present danger poised to yourself or others by the unfolding of such an event. If you decide to step in and assist security or police with an unruly, armed teenager, please let him know after he gets out of prison that he really needs to consider upgrading his wardrobe. Also, make sure to be very cognizant of where your muzzle is pointed and keep your finger off the trigger unless you need to fire.
You never want to get into the situation where you underestimate or devalue the threat potential of a teenager with poor taste in clothing. If he’s willing to steal $1,200 worth of crappy threads made in a third world sweat labor shop, he’s probably dumb enough to try something stupid with a handgun that he should have never gotten his hands on in the first place.
And last but not least, this is Alaska. And Alaska plays by a different rulebook than the lower 48, so keeping a calm head and helping out your fellow man can really go a long way to making the day run smoother. Good job, Alaska.