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Saturday Shoplifting Case Ends With Car And Foot Pursuit – Multiple Agencies Involved


24 year-old Joseph Cantrell and 30 year-old Rhonda Lynn Hiner were both arrested on Saturday afternoon and allegedly shoplifting at the Super Walmart, and then fleeing from authorities.

Rhonda Hiner

Sergeant Sean Finley with the Montana Highway Patrol said one of his troopers responded to a vehicle search after the alleged shoplifting incident.

“The occupants were involved in a theft from one of the local stores,” Finley began. “He caught up to the vehicle, and when he did, the vehicle sped away from him. He initiated a pursuit that involved several blocks Once they got off of Reserve Street, the driver and the passenger in the vehicle stopped and fled. The female suspect was apprehended shortly thereafter, however, the male forcefully broke into a home that we had to clear, and he was arrested shortly after that.”

Missoula Police Sergeant Colin Rose said his department was also involved in the chase and arrest.

“The people involved were last seen in a silver blue minivan with temporary license plates,” Rose said. “The Montana Highway Patrol attempted to make a stop at Reserve and 9th, and they failed to yield. There was a Missoula Police Officer close by, so those two vehicles were in an active pursuit for several blocks up to the one thousand block of Kemp, when the people bailed out of the vehicle and fled on foot. The female was caught quickly, but the male shouldered his way into a temporarily unoccupied residence. So then, city, county and MHP all gathered and contained the residence  and then entered and searched it and found the suspect male in the basement.”

Cantrell was placed under arrest and charged with felony burglary, as well as misdemeanor theft and obstructing a peace officer, while Hiner was charged with misdemeanor theft and obstruction. Hiner appeared in municipal court on Sunday, while Cantrell is being held on $50,000 bail for his appearance in Justice Court on Tuesday.

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