Police in Montana say a man told friends he needed help moving and got their unwitting help to steal $40,000 worth of items from another man’s home.
One of the friends of Patrick Joseph Adams Jr. rented a U-Haul for Adams without knowing it would be used in a crime. Another friend told police he became suspicious and left the premises after he saw military medals in the Great Falls home. He said he doubted 36-year-old Patrick Joseph Adams Jr. served in the military, and had never mentioned being deployed before.
Investigators say the true homeowner came home later that night, found his home had been burglarized and called 911. Great Falls Police spoke with witnesses in the neighborhood who said they saw a U-Haul and a dark-colored SUV arrive at the house earlier that day and unload things from the home into the U-Haul.
Prosecutors charged Adams on Thursday with burglary and criminal mischief, both felonies. The Great Falls Tribune reports that Adams faces up to 30 years in prison and $100,000 in fines. At his initial appearance in district court on Thursday, Judge Elizabeth Best set Adams’ bail at $50,000 and required him to wear GPS monitoring if he is able to post bond.
According to state records, Adams was previously convicted in 2016 of carrying a concealed weapon and in 2010 of criminal possession of dangerous drugs; both were in Cascade County. Also in 2010, he was convicted of forgery in Toole County.
According to the police report, the officer did not want to request a warrant for Adams in July because he knew Adams was on probation at the time. The officer wanted to coordinate with the probation and parole office to get a search warrant for Adams’ home, where the officer hoped to recover some of the allegedly stolen items. He instead tried to meet with Adams at the probation office on Sept. 25, but Adams didn’t show.
It is still unclear if Adams has a lawyer.