Courts & Crime

Man goes to an awful lot of trouble to reclaim an $800 truck

ANCHORAGE — While most of Anchorage was sleeping on Tuesday morning, a local man allegedly broke into a local tow shop's storage lot, trying to retrieve a 1967 pickup that he left there a month ago.

Police say Richard Heger, 67, then embarked on a clumsy crime spree, including damaging property at a couple of local businesses, lying about his identity to police and spinning them stories involving President Barack Obama and the CIA.

To aid in recovering the pickup, Heger allegedly stole a tow truck at Rusty’s Towing & Recovery near Government Hill and caused an estimated $7,000 in damage to the storage lot’s gate. While he was towing the pickup down C Street at 3:30 a.m. Tuesday, police say, the pickup came unhitched from the tow truck and struck the Romano's Restaurant sign.

A sanding truck driver noticed the collision at Romano's and called police. When police arrived, they found Heger attempting to reattach the pickup, but incorrectly. When they queried Heger, police said he gave them a false name and told “wild stories” about scouting for President Barack Obama’s upcoming visit to Anchorage and working for the CIA.

He told police that he had purchased the 1967 Ford for $800, but could not furnish any proof of ownership and he was not listed as its registered owner.

A shop representative from Rusty’s Towing told police that Heger had asked the company to tow the pickup to a repair shop but he didn’t have any money to pay for it. Instead it was towed to Rusty’s storage lot until he came up with the money. The truck had been sitting at Rusty’s since early October, police said.

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