Missoula Police Arrest Same Serial Burglary Suspect They Caught Last Month
Missoula police received at least seven calls for service on Friday afternoon, September 7, that all appear to be connected to the same suspect. The calls varied from a destroyed electrical box, to trespassing at someone's back door, to an attempt to gain access to a construction vehicle and stealing items from inside a store, but they all involved reports of a man in a bright yellow shirt. Police Public Information Officer Travis Welsh says police finally caught up with a suspect around 5:37 on Adams Street, not long after the first call came in around 5:00 p.m.
"An officer who had been looking for this suspicious male observed him coming out of an unattached garage at a residence and he was carrying items with him, apparently from this residence," Welsh said. "The male was taken into custody and immediately identified as 29-year-old Derek Arnold. Mr. Arnold is someone that the police department is familiar with and has dealt with in the past, so the officer recognized him."
Arnold is listed as a transient currently living in Missoula. Welsh says police have had many incidents involving Arnold the past few weeks. In August, Arnold was also arrested and accused of serial burglary after he was caught wearing several layers of clothes taken from multiple residences. The list of crimes this time is also long.
"They began to notice that property that he had in his possession did not all come from Adams street, but came from some of these other places he had been to earlier," Welsh said. "At one residence he apparently had a laptop computer in his possession, we are still trying to establish where the laptop came from, he apparently found something that he preferred, a bicycle and so left the laptop behind and took the bicycle."
Arnold is currently facing six charges including two for trespassing, two for theft, and two for felony burglary. Police are still trying to find the sources for some of the items. All seven of the properties involved so far are located between East Broadway and the railroad tracks including criminal activity on Washington, North Adams, Main and East Spruce Streets.