Libby Man Arrested for Burglary Following Manhunt

Sheriff’s office sent warning to residents to lock doors during search

By Justin Franz
Sheriff's vehicle. Beacon file photo

A 30-year-old Libby man has been arrested and charged with felony burglary and theft following a brief manhunt in Lakeside on Monday.

Kevin Ray Mitchell was brought into custody after he allegedly stole weapons, survival gear and a truck in the Kalispell area. The Flathead County SWAT team and Two Bear Air were both called upon during the hunt for Mitchell and local residents were advised to lock their doors because of the threat.

According to the Flathead County Sherriff’s Office, law enforcement received a report of a burglary in the Kalispell area on Jan. 15. Mitchell had allegedly taken several guns and survival gear from his father’s house. Mitchell then allegedly stole a truck. Mitchell was reportedly under the influence of methamphetamine at the time of the burglary and was “very unstable.”

At about 4:30 p.m., a log-truck driver reported seeing a vehicle in the middle of Cramer Creek Road near Lakeside. The driver witnessed a man, later identified as Mitchell, running into the woods. Sheriff’s deputies responded to the scene and found that a rifle was missing from the vehicle.

Because Mitchell was considered armed and dangerous, local residents were warned to lock their doors and report any suspicious activity. The alert was pushed out to local residents on television.

Two Bear Air spotted Mitchell in the woods and the SWAT team apprehended him without incident. Mitchell was taken to Kalispell Regional Medical Center because he was hypothermic. Mitchell was in the Flathead County Detention Center on Tuesday morning and will likely appear in district court in the coming weeks.

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