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Man Crashes Car Through Front Door of Alaska Brewing Company, Steals Beer

May 2, 2011

Casey Kelly, KTOO – Juneau

The retail store at the Alaskan Brewing Company campus in Juneau suffered $15,000 damage early Friday, when a Juneau man allegedly drove a vehicle through the front doors and stole some beer.

Brewery Spokeswoman Ashley Johnston says an early morning shift worker noticed the damage at about 5 a.m. Friday and called police and management.

“It was a couple kegs and a few 12 packs, so a comparatively small amount of beer. Looked like a literal smash and grab,” Johnston said.

Acting on a tip Friday afternoon, Juneau police served a search warrant on a Switzer Village trailer, where they recovered most of the beer.

54-year-old Michael Rae was arrested on a variety of charges, including burglary in the second degree and theft in the third degree. He’s also charged with vehicle theft, because the automobile he rammed into the store front was apparently stolen from a nearby business.

Johnston says the brewery’s retail store remains open despite the damage, though customers now have to enter next to the business office.

“Basically, the entire front entrance to the gift shop was destroyed. So, right now it’s boarded up. But, yes, business as usual inside,” Johnston said.

She says the brewery will be reviewing its security protocols and making some changes as a result of the incident.

Rae is lodged at Lemon Creek Correctional Center on no bail. Juneau police say their investigation is ongoing.

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