Teenager charged with committing string of Togiak burglaries, pleads not guilty

Apr 26, 2018

A Togiak teen has been charged for allegedly burglarizing five buildings in the village. Harvey Franklin Jr., 19, faces six felony counts of burglary and one felony count of theft. He was arraigned today in Dillingham Court. Franklin pleaded not guilty to all charges.

Security cameras at several of the burglarized buildings recorded footage of what appear to be the same burglar, wearing the same clothing and shoes.
Credit Alaska State Troopers

When law enforcement contacted Harvey Franklin Jr., a 19-year-old from Togiak, on Wednesday, he was wearing a pair of black Nike Air Force 1 tennis shoes. According to Alaska State Troopers, those shoes are among the evidence connecting Franklin with a string of recent Togiak break-ins.

The rash of burglaries began Tuesday, April 17. Troopers say three buildings were broken into early that morning. Surveillance footage from the Togiak Clinic, Togiak Natives Limited and the Togiak Tribal Hall show what appear to be the same person, wearing blue jeans, a black coat, black shoes and a black facemask, entering each building.

The burglar caused substantial damage to the clinic door and a safe that holds narcotics. No controlled substances were stolen, however approximately 100 needles and an iPad were missing. The door to Togiak Natives Limited was also damaged, and the office was trashed. Computer equipment was overturned, and the intruder had poured coffee creamer and juice on top of it. A phone and $500 cash was stolen from TNL. No damage was observed from the break in at the Togiak Tribal Hall, and the property stolen was worth $8.

Inside the Togiak Natives Limited office, a shoeprint was visible. The State of Alaska crime lab identified it as a Nike Air Force 1 shoe.

Several days later, on April 23, a burglar struck the Togiak Clinic once more. The surveillance footage revealed a person wearing the same clothing and shoes as the April 17 burglar.

On April 24, the Togiak School reported a burglary. Troopers investigated and found the window to the principal’s office was pried open and $1000 cash was taken from the school. They also found shoeprints, matching the one at the Togiak Natives Limited office.

One day later, a person broke into the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families building. Someone sleeping in the building chased off the suspect. The incident was caught on camera, and from that footage law enforcement identified Harvey Franklin Jr. as a suspect.

“We were able to obtain certain items of evidence, linking him to six burglaries, shoe prints and other things,” said Alaska State Trooper Gordon Young, who was involved in the investigation.  “We served a search warrant and recovered items that were taken from a couple of the scenes.”

Young said that the stolen cell phone from Togiak Natives Limited was among the recovered items.

“The hard work of the Dillingham Troopers, the Togiak Trooper, and also the VPSO, TPO and VPO were intricate in certain details of the investigation that really helped us out,” said Young.

Franklin was arraigned Thursday in Dillingham court. He faces six counts of felony burglary, one count of felony theft and numerous misdemeanor charge. The teenager pleaded not guilty to all charges. He will next appear in court on May 7 for a pre-indictment hearing.

Contact the author at avery@kdlg.org or 907-842-5281.