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Alleged boat thieves arrested; 1 charged

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KALISPELL — Flathead County Sheriff Chuck Curry reported two suspects were arrested in the alleged theft of a $100,000 boat from a Lakeside marina on June 19. 

Officers received a tip that the boat would be moved, and suspects Brandon Jeppesen, 30, Polson, and Ty Butler, 20, Dixon, were apprehended on July 14 after a Montana Highway Patrol Trooper spotted a pickup pulling a boat matching a description given. After a high speed, rough terrain chase, the two were apprehended. The alleged fugitives went off-road near the Standing Arrow Powwow grounds in Elmo, jounced the hitch of the boat trailer off the ball, leaving the boat and trailer. They continued into the mountains until they high centered the pickup and then continued on foot, according to Lake County Sheriff Don Bell.

Lake County and Flathead County law enforcement personnel as well as Montana Highway Patrol, Tribal Law and Order, Tribal Fish and Game and the Two Bear Air helicopter were all involved.  

Sheriff Curry said Jeppesen had been charged with felony theft and criminal endangerment, but he was not sure if Butler had been charged.

Earlier in the month, parts of the boats were found in Polson. With the help of the Polson Police Department, Flathead County Sheriffs Deputies served a search warrant on Jeppesen’s residence in Polson and found parts of the boat. However, they were not able to find the boat at that time. 

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