Missoula Crime Report: Increase in Violent Crime This Week
Missoula County’s Chief Deputy County Attorney Matt Jennings had some sobering news for our listeners on Friday when he delivered the weekly crime report.
Firstly, he expressed deep concern that there were so many violent crimes to report this week.
“For the last year and I guess for most of 2022 we've been averaging about 13 felony complaints filed each week,” began Jennings. “This week was really busy because we had 21, and one of the things that stands out this week is that out of those 21 felony complaints that we filed, 11 of them were actually violent crimes, and only one of them was a drug crime. We often see a little bit more of a mix of property crimes and drugs in our community, but something was going on this week.”
One case that stood out to Jennings was the burglary this week that ended with the SRT and SWAT teams responding to a residence due to a standoff with the suspects.
“With all the technology that people have today, a homeowner saw that their alarms were tripped, and they were able to observe people in their own home while they were out of town and that was really terrifying. But thankfully, our law enforcement responded really, really quickly. And I'm always just amazed by the dedication of our local law enforcement and how quickly they're able to get out to the scene of situations like this, and to make sure that further crimes aren’t being committed and that everybody's being safe.”
Jennings continued his description of the standoff with authorities.
“Unfortunately, these individuals holed themselves up in the house and there was actually a standoff for a significant period of time,” he said. “I've personally observed over the last several years the training and the experience that's gone on to our SWAT or they call SRT officers here in Missoula, and their ability to defuse situations like this using all possible methods before violence needs to be used.”
Jennings described even more violent and troubling crimes that came through the County Attorney’s office.
“We have some serious crimes this week, too,” he said. “We have three sexual assaults that involved minors, and these are some of the most tragic and infuriating crimes that we see in our community. But it's something that we dedicate a lot of our time and resources to making sure that we take them absolutely seriously because I think everybody in our community can understand that children more than anybody are innocent and deserve justice if they've been victimized by somebody else.”
Bond for the two burglars was set at $75,000 by Justice of the Peace Landee Holloway.