Friday, December 12, 2008

Benjamin Wallace Rucker Caught By Anchorage Police After He Drops Wallet With Photo ID; Charged With Robbery, Assault, And Vehicle Theft

A 34-year-old black man suspected in a series of robberies and carjackings in Anchorage, Alaska was arrested by police - primarily because of his own incompetency. He dropped his wallet - which contained his photo ID - at one of the crime scenes. Full story published December 12th, 2008 by the Anchorage Daily News; supplemental story on December 11th by KTUU Channel 2. Previously discussed HERE. The Alaska Standard has since weighed in on this arrest, and discloses that the perpetrator has previously been charged with 19 crimes in Alaska alone, although they do not disclose the disposition.

Benjamin Wallace Rucker was arrested on December 11th and charged with two felony counts of robbery, three felony counts of assault, and one felony count of vehicle theft stemming from two episodes, and he is a suspect in a third incident. He was booked at the Anchorage jail on $50,000 bail. The crime spree left a cab driver with slash wounds to his head and hands, a carjacking victim punched in the mouth and a pet dog that was in one of the stolen vehicles temporarily missing.

Click HERE to view photo of Rucker.

Police now suspect the rampage began with a downtown robbery of a Yellow Cab driver just before 10 p.m. Tuesday, when driver Harold Peaker was robbed of his cash. Peaker picked up a fare in front of the Avenue Bar on Fourth Avenue and two others at Fourth Avenue and Barrow Street. When he stopped the cab near 15th Avenue and Gambell Street, the two men in back started to get out but the man in the front seat demanded the money and made a grab for the car key. The suspect hit the cabbie several times with a boxcutter, leaving him with cuts on his hands and a severely bruised head, then grabbed the money. But police say that possible charges against Rucker for this incident are still being reviewed, as they have yet to identify the other suspects.

Later on, at about 12:45 A.M. Wednesday morning, Jimmie Hoyt had his 1993 tan and gray Ford Explorer carjacked in the 800 block of West Seventh Avenue by two men, Parker said. The robbers punched Hoyt in the face as they forced him out of the vehicle and sped off with his Akita dog, Sox, still inside. The dog was later picked up in Mountain View by good Samaritans who reunited pet and owner Wednesday. Rucker has been charged in this incident.

Then, just before 2:45 A.M., a robber walked into the Tesoro gas station at 1940 Abbott Road claiming he had a gun and demanding cash. The robber ran out with a small amount of cash and got into a vehicle with a woman. While fleeing the scene, though, the vehicle spun out and stalled in the middle of the road.

Undeterred, the suspect, accompanied by the still-unidentified woman, flagged down a passing green Ford Explorer, driven by David Dunsmore, and forced him out of the vehicle. The vehicle, however, apparently had a manual transmission, which the robber may have been unfamiliar with. The vehicle died in the 1900 block of Abbott Road, next to Hoyt's vehicle that had stalled just moments before, and the robber took off running with his female companion. As police arrived, their footprints were already being covered by city snowplows clearing the roads, but the wallet found at the scene broke the case. Rucker has also been charged in this incident.

Another reported incident of the carjacking of a green 2000 Jeep Cherokee in the 6200 block of East Debarr Road, previously discussed HERE, is no longer considered part of Rucker's crime spree and is being investigated separately.

Here are Alaska Court Records links to some of the other cases involving Benjamin Rucker:


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