Two male suspects are being sought in connection with a meat locker heist at the Butte Country Club early Friday.
General Manager Tod Fitterer said the thieves got away with $3,500 in beef, French fries, broccoli and pastries. More than 10 large pieces of prime rib are missing, each weighing about 20 pounds and valued at $200.
Butte-Silver Bow police believe the break-in and theft were premeditated due to the suspects’ behavior seen on video surveillance and their judicious plan to transport the stolen goods.
“It wasn’t a random act. They came there with a specific purpose to get into the meat locker and steal the product located in the locker itself,” said Undersheriff George Skuletich.
Fitterer said the culprits could possibly be former employees who worked at the club, adding that their execution of the theft was “a little uncanny.”
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Police officers responded to an alarm at 2:49 a.m. at the club, 3400 Elizabeth Warren Ave., and found an exterior freezer door was open. With a manager’s help, police determined that meat products — including roasts, baron of beef and prime rib — were taken after a padlock was cut.
Skuletich said the suspects entered the freezer near the club’s kitchen and loaded two plastic bins with meat. The bins, which were already in the freezer, were then placed on a 7-foot, two-wheel trailer attached to a four-wheeler.
The suspects made a concerted effort to keep their heads down and their faces covered with either a ball cap or some sort of mask in an apparent attempt to dodge being identified by an exterior security camera, police said.
A heavyset male was seen on video surveillance wielding bolt cutters and wearing a camouflage ball cap and a hooded sweatshirt with a Fox Racing logo. A second suspect was wearing a heavy-duty jacket, gloves, and a watch cap or stocking cap.
Police say the men may attempt to sell the meat via social media or online and the public should be aware and notify authorities immediately.
Skuletich said the suspects may each face felony charges of burglary and theft.
Anyone with information on the whereabouts of the suspects is asked to call the Butte-Silver Bow Law Enforcement Department at 406-497-1120 or Crimestoppers at 406-782-7336.