Bristol Bay Borough police arrest Naknek man for alleged burglary of fishing vessels

Oct 9, 2020

The incident was reported by a person who witnessed the theft taking place and called the police on Tuesday. Police say Roehl hid an ATV near the boat yard, and the witness took his keys and backpack from it to prevent him from fleeing.

A westward view of downtown Naknek in the summer.
Credit Creative Commons photo by Todd Arlo

Ryan John Roehl is facing more than a dozen charges after local police say he burglarized six fishing vessels in the Leader Creek area of Naknek and also stole a vehicle.

The Bristol Bay Borough police arrested Roehl Thursday. Roehl is 34 years old and from Naknek.

The incident was reported by a person who witnessed the theft taking place and called the police on Tuesday. Police say Roehl hid an ATV near the boat yard, and the witness took his keys and backpack from it to prevent him from fleeing. Police say they later identified Roehl from an ID which was with his backpack. 

John Rhyshek is the Bristol Bay Borough Chief of Police. He says a person called the police while witnessing the burglary. 

“There was an ATV parked right outside the gate hidden in the high grass,” said Rhyshek. “The community member that observed the theft taking place snuck over and actually took the keys out of the ATV and took the backpack off the ATV because he didn’t want the individual to flee.”

According to a press release from the police department, Roehl faces one felony count of theft in the second degree, six counts of burglary in the first degree, and one count of criminal mischief in the fourth degree. 

The police had investigated the burglary of three other fishing vessels and lockers as well as a stolen vehicle for more than a month when Roehl was arrested on Thursday. 

Police say Roehl was in possession of the stolen vehicle at the time of arrest.

That led to even more charges: Two additional counts of vehicle theft in the first degree, two counts of theft in the third degree, one count of burglary in the first degree, and one count of burglary in the second degree. 

“We don’t have a timeframe for the other burglaries, all we know is they hadn’t been reported yet,” said Rhyshek. “The way that we were able to correlate the burglaries are Mr. Roehl was in possession of the stolen vehicle and upon serving the search warrant to search the vehicle, we were able to locate tools in the vehicle with fishing vessels’ names on them. We had to do the leg work of contacting the individuals of why tools were in the vehicle.”

After the police obtained a search warrant for the stolen vehicle and Roehl’s personal belongings, they found tools with the names of various fishing vessels on them as well as methamphetamine and heroin. Roehl was then further charged with possession of burglary tools and two counts of misconduct involving controlled substances in the fifth degree. 

Roehl is currently being held at the Bristol Bay Borough Detention Facility with cash bail set at $2,500.