Missoula, MT (KGVO-AM News) - On February 2, 2023, at approximately 9:47 a.m., a Missoula Police Department Officer was dispatched to a suspected burglary that occurred at a business in the 2600 block of West Broadway. When the officer arrived, he made contact with an employee.  

The employee said someone had broken into their fenced yard and stolen multiple items. He advised that there were seven propane tanks taken out of unlocked compartments of multiple trailers on their lot and that they were all seven-gallon size tanks. He also stated that the suspect appeared to have entered an unlocked RV and stole a flat-screen TV and sound bar. 

We Have Surveillance Video

While on the scene, the employee got a phone call from an employee of a nearby business. He was told that there was video coverage of the area, which showed the suspect moving around in the yard gathering the items, and loading them into his truck. The officer and the employee both responded over to the business to watch the video. 

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While reviewing the video, the officer could clearly see a vehicle arrive at 10:42 p.m. on January 31, 2023. A short while later, the suspect can be seen on video inside the fence walking around to various RVs and walking back to the fence with propane tanks. Multiple trips were made. The suspect eventually loads the tanks into the back of the truck at approximately 10:55 p.m. and leaves. 

Citizen Pursuit

At approximately 12:33 p.m. on February 2, 2023, the employee called the officer and told him that the suspect had returned to the area. The employee began following the vehicle on I-90. A Missoula County Sheriff’s Office deputy dispatched that he was in the area and was able to stop the vehicle. The suspect verbally identified himself as Chalmus Spinler. 

At approximately 1:00 p.m., the officer advised Spinler of his Miranda rights, which Spinler acknowledged and waived. The officer told Spinler why he was stopped and told him that he believed that he was the suspect who had broken into the business. Spinler admitted that he was in the area, claiming that he likes to go to the Animeals donation box to donate food sometimes.  

When the officer described the vehicle that was captured on video being loaded with stolen property, Spinler stated, “well that’s my truck”. Spinler then stated that he wanted his attorney there for further questions and the officer ended his interview. 

A Search is Conducted

Sheriff Deputies responded to Spinler’s residence and they located four brand new-looking seven-gallon propane tanks. Court documents indicate officers had obtained a search warrant for Spinler’s property. During the search, four matching propane tanks were located alongside a pair of boots with the same sole and print that matched the ones found on the scene of the burglary.  The additional property reported as stolen is still at large and actively being investigated. 

Spinler is currently being charged with felony theft, a third or subsequent offense. He has two prior felony theft convictions.

The information in this article was obtained from sources that are publicly viewable.

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