A Juneau man with multiple larcenies on his record is the suspect in two break-ins Thursday night and is being sought by the Juneau Police Department after he fled from his van Friday morning.
Wade Bryson, who owns both Subways in Juneau, said the opener for the Mendenhall Valley store called him at 5:45 a.m. Friday because someone had broken into through the drive-thru.
“He actually broke the window to get in,” Bryson said, adding that the thief took a 250-pound safe that was concealed under a counter.
“He dragged it out,” Bryson said. “It weighs so much, I never worried about it before.”
After JPD arrived, Bryson reviewed surveillance video and said the police officer recognized the suspect immediately as Dakota Gallant. Gallant, 27, has an extensive criminal history and recently was charged with first-degree vehicle theft in connection with a Feb. 10 arrest. He was arrested in mid-July on four outstanding warrants but subsequently bonded out of Lemon Creek Correctional Center.
JPD Lt. David Campbell would not confirm that the suspect was Gallant, identifying the suspect only as a 27-year-old man.
According to Bryson, his employee also recognized Gallant, who has a distinctive neck tattoo, and knew that he had been living in an abandoned van at the Dragon Inn on Glacier Highway. Bryson followed a JPD officer to the parking lot of the restaurant and saw the van with Gallant inside.
“I made eye contact with him,” Bryson said. “He was trying to cover something up, he was dumping blankets out and trying to cover up (the safe).”
Gallant then took off running into the woods, Bryson said.
Campbell confirmed that the suspect had fled and that he is being sought as part of an ongoing investigation; his vehicle was impounded.
The store owner believes that Gallant targeted him in retaliation for an incident a month ago, when he was kicked out of the downtown Subway.
Luckily, Bryson noted, he empties the safe daily and it had very little cash inside.
A 27-year-old man is the suspect in another burglary that night, at a business in the 2200 block of Jordan Avenue. Campbell would not confirm if it was Gallant, however.
The burglary was reported just before 9 a.m. Friday, with the suspect stealing a camera valued at $200. The suspect has been identified via surveillance video, but has not been arrested as of Friday afternoon.
• Contact reporter Liz Kellar at 523-2246 or email@example.com.