Coffee shop burglar loses stolen goods to trash pickup

A Juneau grand jury indicted a 47-year-old man last week for the burglary of a downtown coffee shop earlier this month.

Juneau Police Department officer Eric Hoffman filed a report about the incident, writing that security footage at The Grind Coffee shop at 489 S. Franklin St. allowed him to easily identify Joseph Yaletchko, as Yaletchko was taking items from the store two weekends ago.

According to the report, an employee at The Grind arrived at work on Monday, May 7 to find multiple items, including clothing and an iPad, were missing. Hoffman wrote that the building manager showed security footage to him and Kristel Liska, the manager of the coffee shop.

On the footage, Hoffman said he was able to identify Yaletchko, who filled about seven large garbage bags with items from the shop. Liska told Hoffman the stolen items included clothing, electronics, drinks and food, and estimated they were worth more than $750, Hoffman wrote in his report.

Hoffman found Yaletchko soon afterward at the downtown transit center, according to charging documents, and saw Yaletchko was wearing a sweatshirt that had “The Grind Coffee” printed on the front and back. Yaletchko denied having stolen the shirt at first, the report states, but eventually admitted he had stolen it and other items from the shop after breaking in through a window.

Yaletchko told Hoffman he had put the garbage bags near dumpsters by the Mount Roberts Tramway, according to the report, and left. When he returned a little while later, Yaletchko said, he saw a garbage truck emptying the dumpsters and picking up the garbage bags that held the stolen property, according to the indictment.

Hoffman arrested Yaletchko for second-degree burglary and second-degree theft, according to the indictment.

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