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Gas thief

Police say they are investigating an incident in which a man illegally siphoned gas from a vehicle.

Officers responded around 11:30 p.m. Sunday to a carpet and air-duct cleaning business on the 100 block of Gallatin St. after two employees said they caught a man trying to siphon gas from a vehicle parked at the business.

Police said the witnesses attempted to block the man’s vehicle with a van they were driving, but the thief was able to get away by backing up and ramming the van, hitting another parked vehicle in the process.

Police later found the suspect’s vehicle unoccupied and stuck in the snow on Mercury and Mahone Streets.

In addition to siphoning gas from one vehicle, the man allegedly broke the window and smashed the interior lights of another vehicle parked at the business.

Police said the man is about 6-foot-2 and has slight build. He was wearing a dark hoodie at the time of the incident.

Simple assault at St. James

Police say they responded St. James Healthcare on Clark Street around 9 p.m. Thursday in response to a call about an unruly patient.

According to police, Frank Ramey, 60, of Butte had arrived at the emergency room by ambulance and had swung his fists at staff as they attempted to transfer him from a gurney to a bed.

Police arrest Ramey for simple assault, and he was taken to Butte county jail, where he was found to be in possession of a glass pipe.

In addition to the misdemeanor simple-assault charge, Ramey has also been cited with misdemeanor possession of drug paraphernalia.

Shoplifter flees from police

Police say an officer responded around 10 p.m. Thursday to Walmart on Harrison Avenue in response to a report of a disturbance inside the store.

While speaking with a female at the store, a man approach the officer and said he had witnessed a man leave the store carrying several items without paying.

The officer began to pursue the alleged shoplifter, William Hakala, 35, of Butte, who police say fled the officer on foot and ran north to a car dealership, where he hid on the ground behind a car.

Having spotted Hakala behind the car, the officer continued to run after the 35-year-old, who then ran west toward a car wash, ditched the stolen items, and attempted to hide on the ground behind a pile of snow.

The officer caught up with Hakala and arrested him for shoplifting and obstructing a peace officer, both misdemeanors.

As of Friday morning, Hakala remained in county jail. The items he allegedly stole included several food items and a spotlight.

Failure to disperse

Police say they arrested a 55-year-old homeless woman Thursday night after she refused to leave the temporary homeless shelter on North Main Street.

According to police, Laurie Catalino had been asked to leave the shelter after she allegedly began screaming at staff.

When police arrived around 10 p.m., officers ordered her to leave the area of the shelter. But moments later, officers were dispatched to the shelter again after staff reported that Catalino had allegedly returned and was banging on the door of the shelter.

When officers arrived for the second time, they placed the 55-year-old under arrest.

As of Friday morning, Catalino remained in Butte county jail, where she faces a misdemeanor charge of failure to disperse.

Obstructing a peace officer

Police say officers approached a parked vehicle with its lights on at the corner of Daly and Second streets, where they came upon an intoxicated woman in the passenger seat who told officers she didn’t know who had driven her to the location. Shortly thereafter, police said, a man emerged from a nearby residence and began running.

Police were able to catch up with the man, Zachary Altenburg, 25, whom they arrested for obstructing a peace officer, a misdemeanor.


Business Reporter

Business Reporter for The Montana Standard.

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