By CASSIDY GEOGHEGAN/Montana State News
Montana State University student Kimmie Geer fell victim to car break-ins twice last week. The first break in occurred when her vehicle was parked at her friend’s house.
“When I was leaving the next morning,” Geer said, “I found my driver’s door open as well as my glove box and center console. My glove box and console were emptied, but nothing else was stolen from the car which leads me to believe the person breaking in was interrupted. I called the police to report the stolen items and the break-in.”
Only four days later, her car was broken into again.
“The second time my car was broken into it was parked in my driveway, with the doors locked,” Geer said. “I was leaving for class and had my keys in hand and when I went to unlock the door, it was already unlocked. A bad feeling came over me and when I opened the door I found a mess in my passengers seat and my wallet stolen.”
Geer said the thief stole “a radar detector, all the paperwork on repairs, tires, registration, sunglasses and a broken iPod. The second time all that was taken was my wallet, containing all my credit/debit cards, ID, cash, and other various cards.”
Between Jan. 23 and Feb. 7, 28 car break-in incidents were reported to Bozeman police, involving both locked and unlocked vehicles. Geer said when she called the police, “they were very responsive, especially with the second incident. They came to my place and talked with me. The person who stole my wallet had used my credit card at the gas station, and the Police had received a lot of calls about break-ins around my neighborhood, so they kept in close touch about my credit card information.”
Christopher Harley Morgan, 23, of Bozeman, was arrested after admitting to breaking and entering 24 different vehicles and stealing a 2002 Dodge Durango. According to the Bozeman Daily Chronicle bail has been set at $50,000.
Morgan was arrested after driving the stolen vehicle and admitted to 24 of the 28 burglaries. Morgan told investigators he doesn’t have a job and was struggling to pay his rent and bills.
He has also admitted to selling most of the items and the Bozeman police are working to retrieve the items and get them back to their rightful owners.
Geer has taken a very serious lesson from this unfortunate experience
“Since the break-ins I’ve been really cautious of leaving things in my car and triple checking that I’ve locked it,” she said. “I still learned a huge lesson and will forever be more aware of leaving valuable things in my car.”
-Edited by Patrick Hill