By PERRY BACKUS Ravalli Republic |
Posted: Wednesday, February 17, 2010 6:15 am
HAMILTON - Stephan Crane will probably never be a professional burglar.
The 19-year-old Hamilton man was arrested Tuesday morning following an early morning break-in to the Ravalli Republic.
Crane allegedly broke into the newsroom through a window and then watched some pornography on the computers he found inside. He also logged onto his MySpace and Facebook pages using his own name.
Somewhere along the way, the man doused the room with a fire extinguisher.
Following a short investigation, Hamilton police officers found Crane at his sister's apartment just across the hallway from the paper's newsroom.
The officers followed a trail of stolen trail mix and M&Ms to her door.
Hamilton Police Detective Stephen Murphy said Crane confessed to the crime shortly after his arrest.
According to Murphy, in his detailed taped confession Crane said he had consumed some alcoholic beverages at a Hamilton residence before being dropped off at the building housing his sister's apartment, which is right next door to the newspaper.
When she didn't answer her door, Crane attempted to get into her apartment through a back window.
After failing at that attempt, Crane picked up a copy of the Ravalli Republic that was lying in the hallway and read at least one story on the front page. Murphy said the man told him it had something to do with politics.
The newspaper in his hand may have led to his next idea.
"He told me he always wondered what was inside the newspaper office," Murphy said.
Crane also hoped he could find something inside the office that he could use to pick his sister's door. So he went back outside on the roof and sneaked in through a window.
Once inside the building, Crane allegedly used two different computers to view pornography and his MySpace and Facebook pages.
"As he started to sober up, he said that logging on to his MySpace page was a dumb move for a burglar to make," Murphy said.
Crane also found two gallon-size bags of trail mix and another bag of M&Ms inside one of the desks.
He threw two bags of trail mix out the window in the general direction of the nearby door used to access the hallway between the row of apartments and the newsroom. The M&Ms were found lying on top of the Tuesday edition of the Ravalli Republic in front of his sister's door.
Murphy said Crane admitted that probably didn't help his case either.
"He told me: ‘Left a trail literally to the door where I was,' " Murphy said.
By reviewing the computer logs, Murphy estimates that Crane probably spent about three hours in the newsroom.
Before Crane left, he pulled a fire extinguisher off the wall and fired it a couple of times.
"He said he thought it would be neat to shoot it off," Murphy said.
Crane was remanded on felony charges of burglary and criminal mischief and a misdemeanor count of theft. He will be later charged with minor in possession. He was booked into the Ravalli County detention center.
Ravalli Republic editor Perry Backus can be reached at 363-3300 or email@example.com.
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Tags: teenager, snacks, myspace, burglary,
Location: Hamilton, Montana, United States (load item map)
Marked as: approved
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