Vehicles and a home targeted in series of break-ins


A spate of break-ins to vehicles and possibly a home has the Wrangell Police Department – and private citizens on the lookout for suspicious behavior.

The break-ins occurred on the night of Wednesday, July 17, sometime between 10:30-11 p.m., according to a number of statements given by the victims. In total, seven vehicles were either broken into or saw the

perpetrator attempt to start the vehicle.

One of the unlucky Wrangell residents to have his vehicle tampered with is fire chief Tim Buness.

“I went to bed at about a quarter-to-eleven,” Buness said. “They got into my van but did not take anything. There is valuable stuff in there but nothing of such great value that they would want to haul it off.”

The vehicle belonging to Lisa Nikodym, a renter at the Buness property, was also broken into. Nikodym said she lost an iPod to the thief or thieves.

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“They got into my car and made off with an iPod,” Nikodym said, adding, “They also tried to start my boyfriend Lucas’ truck but couldn’t because the battery is dead.”

A suspicious set of circumstances relating to a house nearby the Buness property also left one homeowner scratching her head.

Kim Powell, along with her husband David, came back from a trip up the river to find that two of their vehicles had been tampered with – and that both of the doors to her house were open.

“When we got back from the river we saw that both of our doors were left wide open, and they were closed when we left,” Powell said.

Tim’s daughter, Loni Buness, was also one of those affected by the break-ins. Her car, which was parked near Tim’s van on her family property, was rifled through though nothing was taken – that night.

Loni’s car was broken into a second time on Monday night at Heritage Harbor. This time the break-in artist made off with a pair of Oakley sunglasses, which were recovered by police, she said.

“They had them back to me within minutes after I reported the theft,” she said.

Police chief Doug McCloskey said his office is looking into the cases, though that was about all he could say on the matter.

“We’re probably talking about more than one suspect,” McCloskey said, though he declined to discuss any particulars of the investigation or recovery of Buness’ property. “We suspect they are locals. Right now, we are investigating whether the theft from Loni last night, and the cases from last week, are related.”

Anyone with information about the break-ins is asked to call police at 874-3305.


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