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Vehicle Break-In Epidemic Hits Missoula, Authorities Searching for Suspects

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Photo courtesy of Curtis Gregory Perry/Flickr

Missing items from vehicles on Short Street and Juneau Drive are just the latest instance of a rash of vehicle break-ins in Missoula County. The break-ins occurred over Mother’s Day weekend and may have concurred with a drinking party.

“A resident on Short Street, which is over by the Orchard Homes area on South 3rd Street West, observed that there were some vehicles parked at the end of the road on Short Street and it appeared that there was some underage drinking party,” said Missoula County Sheriff’s department spokeswoman Paige Pavalone. “So the person documented a bunch of license plates, and she later discovered that her vehicle had been broken into.”

Up and down the street other cars were broken into as well. Pavalone said items such as pocket knives, vehicle registration papers, backpacks and cash had been stolen. Sadly, the Short Street break-ins make something of a trend.

“Outside of the Short Street/Juneau Drive neighborhood, Cap De Villa off of Ridgeway Drive in Lolo was also hit, the 4,000 block of North Avenue West in the Target Range neighborhood (was hit), the Missoula County Fairgrounds parking lot was hit, and the 9,000 block of Highway 10 East between Bonner and Turah was also hit with vehicle break-ins over the weekend,” Pavalone said.

It is not clear if all of these break-ins are linked, but they do share one striking similarity. In every case, the vehicles broken into had their doors unlocked and material goods visible from outside of the vehicle.

Authorities recommend everyone to lock their home and vehicle doors, and to avoid keeping valuables inside of vehicles.

Public Information Officer Paige Pavalone

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