Butte police say they have arrested three people they believe are responsible for rash of mailbox and vehicle break-ins that started late last year, resulting in the theft of thousands of dollars’ worth of checks and credit card purchases.
The three arrested are Lawrence Kahle, 51; Raven Fury, 35; and Charles Johnson, 35, all of Butte, according to a news release from the Butte-Silver Bow Sheriff’s Department. Police have also issued a warrant for the arrest of a fourth person, the news release said.
Undersheriff George Skuletich said police have been investigating the thefts since November and were able to locate Kahle, Fury, and Johnson — who are accused of breaking into mailboxes and vehicles and stealing checks, credit cards, and other items — after the three allegedly began to make fraudulent transactions with the stolen items and were caught on surveillance footage.
According to court documents, Kahle, Fury, and Johnson are accused of stealing a combined total of at least $21,500.
One police report involving the case has at least nine victims listed, Skuletich said, adding that more victims could be identified as the investigation continues.
In February, Skuletich said more than six mailbox thefts were reported at that time, most of them in rural areas. Skuletich said Friday the mailboxes were located in places such as Little Basin Creek Road and Basin Creek Road, Blacktail Loop, south of the Butte Country Club, and homes in the East Ridge area.
The Montana Standard reported in February that mailbox thefts were also reported in the Elk Park area of Jefferson County, but Skuletich said he couldn't say whether those thefts are related to the Butte case.
The Standard was unable to reach Jefferson County Sheriff Craig Doolittle as of Friday afternoon.
Kahle was taken into custody March 20. He is being held on a $50,000 bond for felony forgery.
Fury was arrested March 22 and has been cited with 13 counts of misdemeanor possession of stolen property, two counts of misdemeanor theft, and one count of felony forgery and also has a bond of $50,000.
Charles Johnson has bonded out on a $5,000.00 bond. He has been cited on one count of felony forgery.