Sleeping Man Arrested on Vehicle,Firearm Theft Charges near Cinema 16


Anchorage police charged an Anchorage man with several charges that include vehicle theft and weapons charges following a preliminary investigation on Monday morning, APD announced Tuesday evening.

A day shift patrol officer in the Century 16 theaters area spotted a man asleep in a vehicle next to a group of trees at 10:49 am on Monday and ran a check on the vehicle. While the vehicle did not show up as stolen, it did show that the vehicle belonged to a woman in her 70s.

The officer approached the vehicle to investigate further and saw that the ignition of the vehicle had been “punched,” and tools were observed in the green 1993 Honda.

When the driver awoke, the officer queried whether there were any weapons in the vehicle to which the suspect, later identified as 28-year-old Douglas A Austerman responded in the negative.

When asked for his ID, the suspect “acted like he was looking for the ID, he shifted his body and the officer could see a pistol underneath the man’s leg,” the officer reported. At this point, the suspect was ordered to place his hands on the steering wheel, which he did. Upon the arrival of additional officers, Austerman was ordered out of the vehicle and taken into custody. It was then that he told the officer that his ID was in his shirt pocket.

When the owner that the vehicle was registered to was contacted, she told APD that she had sold the vehicle a few months prior but did not remember who she had sold it to. Austerman was unable to show proof of ownership and so it was impounded as evidence.

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The firearm that Austerman had tucked under his leg was found to have been stolen from a Palmer residence in 2017.

Following being questioned by detectives at the department, Austerman was charged with Vehicle Theft I, Theft II, Theft II – Firearm, and Violate Conditions of Release for a Felony and remanded to the Anchorage Jail.