Troopers recover chainsaw from Hutler Road burglary

Alaska State Troopers have charged a Homer man for possession of a chainsaw taken in an October burglary of a Hutler Road cabin near McNeil Canyon. Roy Burke, 39, pleaded guilty in late October for third-degree theft by receiving and was sentenced to five days in jail. The chainsaw was found with other possible stolen chainsaws and may provide clues for a series of burglaries that have hit the lower Kenai Peninsula this fall.

Alaska State Troopers recovered a stolen Stihl chainsaw belonging to Sid Nelson, the owner of the Hutler Road cabin, after Homer Police went to a lower Main Street home to serve a felony warrant on a main. While there, Homer Police Officer Morgan Tracy saw five chainsaws in a room and contacted Burke at the house. Tracy knew from talking to Trooper Sgt. Daniel Cox, head of the Anchor Point Post, that Cox had been investigating burglaries where chainsaws had been stolen. Burke identified one chainsaw by its serial number as belonging to Nelson.

Nelson, a former Homer resident now living in Minnesota, provided the Homer News with a list of his stolen property (below) while he visited Homer this month. Similar to the burglary of an Anchor River cabin in October, thieves broke into Nelson’s remote cabin about a mile in on Hutler Road off East End Road near McNeil Canyon. Nelson thinks the burglary happened around Oct. 18. He discovered it in later October. Thieves broke into his cabin by popping padlocks with bolt cutters.

“They didn’t kick the door in or break the windows. If I had bigger locks, they would have. These guys are desperate,” Nelson said.

The burglars took rifles, handguns, fishing gear, an old Honda 3-wheeler, tools, a compact refrigerator and even a pickup truck load of firewood. Other belongings had been boxed up ready to be taken, but for some reason the thieves didn’t come back. Nelson asked for publicity about the burglary so other people out East End Road or who live in remote areas would take precautions.

“There’s a lot of trouble. Write down serial numbers and lock your stuff up,” Nelson said.

Sgt. Cox said the Main Street house has been the subject of several trooper and police investigations and is well known to them. Troopers are trying to determine if the other chainsaws are stolen and who they belong to. Troopers have contacted people who have reported stolen chainsaws.

“We’ve got some leads. We’re still actively working it,” Cox said of the case.

Cox said the stolen chainsaw is probably tied in to other cases troopers have been working on.

“Once you recover one thing, sometimes you find stuff from other cases,” he said. “At this point we want to cross our T’s and dot all our I’s and make sure we hold people accountable.”

As for the Anchor River burglary, Cox said troopers have received some tips and leads and are actively working them.

“We’ve got some suspects that we’re trying to run down,” he said.

Anyone with information on the recent burglaries can call the Alaska State Troopers at 907-262-4453.

Reach Michael Armstrong at

List of items stolen from Sid Nelson’s Hutler Road cabin:

• Winchester model 10, 30.06 bolt action rifle, pre-1964, scope, serial 281323

• Kimber .45 SS handgun, serial K151813

• Springfield 30.06 bolt action rifle

• Browning 12-gauge pump shotgun, serial 15116PN152

• Browning .22 lever action rifle

• Ruger .44 magnum revolver

• Ruger .22 and .22 mag revolver

• 1984 Honda Big Red 3-wheeler

• 3 tool boxes, mostly Craftsman

• Craftsman ¾ drive socket set

• Handiman hydraulic jacks

• Big Milwaukee ½-inch drill

• Penn halibut reel

• Porter-Cable air compressor

• Victor gas welding set with two medium bottles

• Compact refrigerator

• Pickup truck load of firewood

• Angle grinder