Truck stolen in Potomac
December 16, 2021
POTOMAC – Sometime between the afternoon of Thursday, Dec. 2 and Saturday, Dec. 4 a 2005 maroon Chevy Silverado 2500 HD extended cab truck was stolen from property on Twin Creek Road near Potomac. This year, this was the third stolen vehicle reported in Potomac, the others on Nov. 10 and May 18. The Missoula County Sheriff's Office offers tips to help property owners improve security and avoid being a victim of property crime.
The owners did not notice that their Chevy Silverado was missing right away. While the truck is normally used for farm chores and other errands, it was parked by their shop, across the road from the house and had a flat tire. It also had big dents in the driver's door and back right fender, broken taillight housing and a white bubble on back right taillight, green horse sticker and white endurance sticker on the top left of the back window and the tailgate handle was broken.
The keys were in the jockey box and it was left unlocked. Other than odds and ends, the owner said no other valuables were in the vehicle.
The family has dogs and motion lights. They think the dogs would have alerted them if they were home when the truck was taken, especially if air was put in the tire.
"Who would steal an old farm truck, and why? I sure hope whoever stole my truck is held accountable some day," said the truck owner. "If they needed a ride, all they had to do was ask."
If anyone has any information about the truck with permanent plate 446129C, please call the Missoula County Sheriff's Office at 406-258-4810.
In 2020, property crime was the most common type of crime committed in the United States, at 6.45 million cases. Property crime occurs when a person's property is taken or destroyed. It includes burglary, larceny and auto theft, money or valuables stolen from a home or person. In most cases, no violence is used or threatened in the process.
The Missoula County Sheriff's Office recommended tips to avoid being a victim of property crime.
• Always keep doors and windows locked.
• If you are away, set timed lights and have a neighbor pick up your mail.
• Illuminate your doorways and walkways. Motion sensor lights are a good deterrent.
• Avoid placing valuables in clear line-of-sight from the windows or draw curtains or blinds that obscure the view inside.
• Don't leave expensive toys, bicycles, ladders or tools outdoors.
• Make sure your house number is visible from the street.
• Lock car doors and ensure all windows are rolled up.
• Always scan the inside of your vehicle before entering.
• Do not carry more cash or credit/debit cards that what you need.
• Consider installing a security system.
• Participate in a local neighborhood watch if available.
Theft from farmers and ranchers can threaten their livelihood. It is becoming more and more common in rural areas with long emergency response times. Additional suggestions from the article "How to boost farm security and deter thieves" Farm Diversity Magazine Sept. 19, 2019 edition included:
• Analyze weaknesses in farm security by looking at the property from the perspective of a potential thief – easy access points, broken fences/gates, valuable equipment unlocked.
• Improve locks and doors on buildings. Remember even with the strongest lock, a door is only as strong as the hinges.
• In addition to locking a vehicle or equipment and keeping the keys in a secure location, add steering and wheel locks and install an immobilizing system that can stop the vehicle remotely.
• Secure the perimeter of the property using fencing, heavy gates, physical natural barriers like ditches or thick hedges or geo-fencing that uses GPS to create a boundary that triggers an alarm if a vehicle enters or exits the property.
• Add branding and serial numbers to equipment by etching it into the window or bodywork. Document this with photographs.