Change of heart cracks burglary case
by Kootenai Valley Record
April 2, 2009
Two Libby teens are facing felony burglary charges after one apparently had a change of heart and called the victim to help him recover his missing property.
Cameron Flansburg and Dustin Mitchell, both 17, were charged as adults in district court last week in connection with a Feb. 18 burglary in the Farm to Market area. According to an affidavit filed by detective Boyd White of the Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office, Larry Marchant reported that he had received a call at work that morning from an anonymous male telling him that his residence had been burglarized. Marchant reported that the caller had told him where he could find three missing handguns.
Two of the guns were found in a plastic bag behind the Gold Pan Casino, and the third was found at the base of a tree behind the Pioneer Junction Motel.
White visited Marchant’s home and reported finding two separate sets of footprints in the snow outside the house, with one of the tracks matching another print found inside the house on a toolbox located below a window through which the burglars appeared to have gained entry. A padlock had been cut off the gun safe where the three handguns had been stored.
White reported that Marchant told him he suspected that Mitchell was involved. Marchant said Mitchell had been at his home recently with his mother, and he may have taken a key or unlocked the window while he was there.
White visited Mitchell at his home and seized as evidence a pair of shoes with treads that matched one of the prints found at Marchant’s home. The detective reported that Mitchell denied knowledge of the burglary and said he had been hanging out downtown with his friend Cameron Flansburg.
White then went to Flansburg’s home, which he noted was less than two blocks from where two of the guns were found. Flansburg initially denied involvement but called White a short time after the detective left and told him he wanted to tell the truth, White reported.
During an interview with his mother present, Flansburg admitted to burglarizing Marchant’s house with Mitchell, White wrote in his report. Flansburg said he had been told that a drug dealer from Oregon was coming to Libby to get revenge for his brother being arrested on cocaine charges and that he had also heard that he had been accused of being involved. Flansburg told White that Mitchell told him he knew where they could get some guns to protect themselves, and that the two had then broken into Marchant’s home together.
White said Flansburg told him he began to feel remorseful after stealing the guns and decided that he wanted to give them back. In an attempt to avoid being caught, he decided to call Marchant anonymously and tell him where he could find the guns, White reported. Flansburg provided White with a pair of shoes he said he had been wearing during the burglary; the tread pattern matched the second set of tracks found at the Marchant residence. Flansburg also turned over a pair of bolt cutters, White wrote in his report.
Flansburg and Mitchell were both charged with burglary and misdemeanor theft. Under state law, 17-year-olds accused of burglary and certain other felonies are charged as adults.
Editor’s Note: See the March 31, 2009 edition of the Kootenai Valley Record for the printed version of this story. The Kootenai Valley Record publishes once a week, now on Tuesday, in Libby, Montana. They are a locally owned community newspaper, located at 403 Mineral Avenue in Libby. For in-county and out-of-county subscription information, call 406-293-2424, or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.