Missoula Story of the Week: Info Needed on Burglaries


A string of downtown burglaries has Missoula police looking for a suspect whose image was captured on a security camera. The break-ins occurred over a nine-day span beginning on the weekend of March 10, with the last one occurring on March 19, according to a KPAX.com story.

NBCMontana.com reported that authorities were searching for a man who was photographed in front of the downtown Fantasy for Adults store just prior to the store’s burglary.

Investigators also suspect the man was involved in two other separate downtown break-ins at Whippersnappers Boutique, which was burglarized on the weekend of March 10 and again sometime during the following weekend.

The burglaries are especially troubling because of the locations of the businesses. Whippersnappers Boutique is located on North Higgins, which is a well-lit area and located just blocks from the Missoula Police Department, highlighting the brazen nature of the break-in. Fantasy for Adults is also located in the downtown area.

With the weakened economy, businesses should become proactive in protecting their hard-earned investments from thieves looking for easy targets.

State Farm Insurance Company recommends that businesses make sure their stores are well lit, devoid of easy hiding spots (tall shrubbery, garbage dumpsters), and remove more valuable merchandise from store windows so as not to entice “smash and grab” robberies. The company’s website also encourages businesses to install alarms and other detection equipment to ensure thieves are caught if they target a business.

Missoula law enforcement officials reported in a Missoulian article that whoever is responsible for the robberies took an undisclosed amount of cash from both of the businesses.

Citizens with any tips or information regarding these crimes are encouraged to call Crimestoppers at (406) 721-4444. Information given will be kept anonymous and callers may be eligible for a $1,000 cash reward.


Each week, Tom Diddel recaps the week’s most talked-about story in Missoula. Visit the Make it Missoula News & Opinion section for more talk of the town.


Tom Diddel has lived in Missoula on and off for nearly thirty-eight years. He enjoys skiing, hiking, and many other outdoor activities. He holds a B.A. in English Literature from the University of Montana and is currently working as a Freelance Writer and a Para-Educator.