Three People Arrested Following Lake County Burglaries

Sheriff says “months-long investigation” led to the arrests this week

By Justin Franz

Three Lake County residents have been arrested following a “months-long investigation” into a series of burglaries and thefts.

According to Lake County Sheriff Don Bell, the investigation and arrests have also helped law enforcement develop leads in other cases, including an incident earlier this year where a local police officer’s family dog was abducted, beaten and dumped at a truck stop in St. Regis.

Todd Lozeau, 36, Paul Groom, 43, and Tanya Phillips are all currently incarcerated in the Lake County Jail on various charges of burglary and theft. Lozeau was also charged with tampering with evidence. Additional charges are expected in the coming days.

According to a press release, the arrests occurred after the Lake County Sheriff’s Office, along with assistance from the Montana Highway Patrol and Flathead Tribal Police, executed search warrants on eight properties. Numerous stolen items were discovered, including parts from a state-owned truck that was stolen in Dillon in October. While the bumper, frame, engine and a utility box have been recovered from the stolen truck, the cab, fenders, hood and all of the tools in the box remain missing.

Authorities have also developed suspects on a case where nails were dumped on county roads in front of the homes of local law enforcement officers as well as an incident where a family dog was abducted. While authorities have suspects, they still do not have enough evidence to make an arrest or charge anyone. According to Bell, the Lake County Commission will give a cash award to anyone who gives the Sheriff’s Office information leading to an arrest in those cases.

People with information should contact Deputy Steve Larson at (406) 249-3021 or slarson@lakemt.gov.

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