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Police chase DUI suspect in front-end loader who broke into liquor store

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ANCHORAGE, Alaska — A 38-year-old man is facing a number of charges after police said he stole a front-end loader, damaged a liquor store and then led officers on a chase before finally stopping at an RV park early Thursday morning in Anchorage, Alaska.

It all started when police were flagged down by a citizen around 3:20 a.m. That person said they spotted a front-end loader with a forklift attachment slamming into the front of the Brown Jug Liquor store on E. Northern Lights Boulevard.

“The citizen stated they observed the driver of the front loader go into the store and the driver took some alcohol bottles. Following the collision,the driver took off eastbound in the front loader,” Anchorage Police Department officials wrote in a news release.

Police chased the loader down E. Northern Lights near Bragaw Street and tried to pull over the suspect multiple times.

The loader finally stopped after turning into an RV Park on Debarr Road just after 3:30 a.m. when multiple patrol vehicles blocked the park’s exit.

The driver of the front loader, Joseph Martin, was arrested by police.

“Alcohol bottles were found inside of the front loader. Officers could also smell a strong odor of alcohol coming from Martin’s breath and Martin also performed poorly on Standard Field Sobriety Tests,” officials said.

Martin was charged with Criminal Mischief 4, Failure to stop at the direction of an officer, Criminal Mischief 3, Theft 4, Criminal Trespassing, Theft 1, Burglary 2, felony DUI, and felony refusal to submit.

Authorities said no one was injured. However, most of the front of the Brown Jug Liquor store was damaged. The construction site on Runamuck Place, where the loader was stolen from, was also damaged.