NewsCrime and Courts

Actions

'People have no respect:' Belgrade police investigate recent car thefts

Posted at 9:18 AM, Sep 24, 2021
and last updated 2021-09-24 11:18:51-04

BELGRADE — Investigators in Belgrade say a rash of crimes have been reported through several neighborhoods, all targeting cars and everything inside of the vehicles.

It’s something that many of us do and don’t do: lock our car doors.

For many, including those living in the Prescott Ranch area north of Belgrade, it comes down to how long they lived in their community and how safe and comfortable they feel.

And then events like last weekend happen: a thief in a neighborhood, checking cars and stealing things inside - But, police in Belgrade say they have at least one caught on camera.

“It’s really, really sad because people have no respect,” says Elaine Neuhaus, who has lived in Belgrade for decades.

Taking whatever isn’t bolted down: that’s how longtime residents of Belgrade’s subdivisions, like Neuhaus, describe a trend that isn’t exactly new but growing in number.

“Montana is not like it used to be when I was raised as a child,” Neuhaus says. “I don’t understand it. It’s just become worse and worse and worse.”

The Facebook post on Belgrade Police Department’s Facebook page, equipped with a photo taken from a home’s surveillance camera, is straightforward; a person, after dark, appearing to try to break into a pickup truck in the Prescott Ranch neighborhood, just north of town near Jackrabbit Lane.

“Montana is not like it used to be when I was raised as a child,” Neuhaus says. “I don’t understand it. It’s just become worse and worse and worse.”

Police describe the person as wearing a light-colored mask, stocking cap, gloves, a ski or rain jacket, with dark-colored pants and shoes.

Similar crimes have been reported in the area before.

Just south of there, two years ago, MTN News reported when a group stole a $600 saw off of someone’s front porch.

belgrade theft.gif
Taking whatever isn’t bolted down: that’s how longtime residents of Belgrade’s subdivisions, like Neuhaus, describe a trend that isn’t exactly new but growing in number.

As for Elaine, she, too, has been targeted.

“We got up the next morning,” Neuhaus says. “Someone had left the door open and someone had gone through the glove box. There was nothing in it. They had the guts to come into our yard at night.”

Belgrade Police say if you have anything that could help them find out who has been committing them, call (406)388-4262.

Elaine says thanks to the usage of doorbell cameras, which all of her neighbors now have, she hopes the thefts dwindle and eventually stop.

“Just be cautious,” Neuhaus says. “I mean, don’t leave things in your car. It just can’t keep going and we’ve got to get at the root of what is causing this problem and why these people are doing it.”

RELATED:

Caught on camera: men steal saw from Belgrade man's front porch
Alleged gang members arrested after number of Bozeman vehicle break-ins