After chasing down stolen vehicle, activist fights reckless driving charge
An Anchorage man who has spent the past year scouring Anchorage streets for stolen vehicles pleaded not guilty today to a reckless driving charge.
Flanked by supporters wearing “Let Floyd Go!” T-shirts, Floyd Hall made his first court appearance on the charge following
. The case highlights a growing trend in Anchorage as car theft victims and good Samaritans work to hunt down the rising tide of missing vehicles.
In the first eight months of this year, the number of cars reported stolen in Anchorage topped 2,000. That’s more than 700 more than the same period in the previous year, and a whopping 300 percent increase compared to the same period in 2015.
“Obviously I feel Floyd should not have any charges brought against him and that if they are going to treat the criminals under SB 91 as lightly as they have, why should Floyd pay the price for helping our community?” said Scott Brown, whose Audi Q7 was stolen from his driveway Sept. 9.
Brown said Hall found the car.
As theft victims post pictures and details of their missing vehicles to Facebook groups such as
, Hall and a small group of fellow volunteers watch for the cars along city streets. They compare suspicious-looking vehicles to recent Facebook posts and the police department’s “hot sheet” of stolen autos.
Hall is accused of driving 60 mph in a 25 mph zone while pursuing a stolen truck, and of following the vehicle the wrong way down one-way Brayton Drive. Prosecutors wrote that soccer practice was in session at a nearby field. Hall previously told KTUU that when the vehicle finally stopped, the driver fired several shots before fleeing.
“We’re not trying to do their job,” Hall said of police.
“We know they are on domestic violence calls and shooting calls and more important calls than an unoccupied stolen vehicle,” he said. “In this case, this vehicle was actually occupied, we had waited for an hour, an hour and a half (for APD), and the person showed up and took off.”
Ken McCoy, Deputy Chief for the Anchorage Police Department, said APD is grateful for the many tips it receives about stolen cars but that police do not want people to take unsafe risks.
“We would encourage the public to continue to be our eyes and ears and to report to us when they see criminal activities or stolen vehicles about town,” McCoy said. “Our only caution is we want everyone to remain safe and we would ask individuals to just be a good witness. Don’t put yourself in harm’s way.”