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Kalispell police investigating rash of break-ins at fairgrounds

KALISPELL – The Kalispell Police Department is asking for your help in finding the person or persons who stole items from several buildings at the Northwest Montana Fairgrounds. Body armor, uniforms, ammo and radios were some of the items taken in the burglary.

“Any help we can get from the community if they see something unusual something you wouldn’t normally see. You know, if you see a piece of body armor that’s not a typical thing you often see,” Kalispell Detective Captain Doug Overman said. “It’s okay to give us a call we would love to hear that information and follow-up with it.”

Capt. Overman says the Sept. 4th theft was discovered after Flathead 9-1-1 received a call several buildings at the fairgrounds had been broken into.

He says the items were stolen from a small storage room inside one of the buildings being used to store items for the Flathead County Sheriff’s Posse.

The theft occurred just one day before those items were to be moved into their own office space the newly purchased boys and girls club in Evergreen.

The Flathead County Sheriff’s Posse was started in 1946 and is made up of everyday citizens that volunteer and give back their time in office and in the community — and buy their own equipment.

Northwest Montana Fairgrounds manager Mark Campbell says seven older spaces that may have been easier to access locks were broken or doors kicked in.

He says while it could be a random incident, it also could be someone who knew what was in the buildings.

Campbell added that while the theft is a violation of the trust and the effort put into the fairgrounds throughout the community it doesn’t represent the community.

Campbell says the fairgrounds will remain open for community access and in the future, he hopes there won’t be a need to add surveillance or limit access. For now, he says they are just picking up the pieces and hoping for justice.

“Our job now is to put the fairgrounds back together. The destruction of the doorways and the entry points and those things and clean up the mess they left behind,” Campbell said. “It comes at a very busy time we’re just coming off of months of hard work and hard effort and have to deal with this on top of it is disheartening.”

Anyone with information about the burglary and thefts is asked to contact Flathead Crimestoppers at (406) 752-TIPS. Callers may remain anonymous and may be eligible for a cash reward.

Click here if you would like to help the Flathead County Sheriff’s Posse rebuild their inventory or donate to the future of their new building.

-Nicole Miller reporting for MTN News

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