$10,000 Bail For Missoula Man After Alleged Jewelry Store ‘Smash and Grab’ Burglary
34 year-old Ben Belcourt appeared in Missoula Justice Court on Friday, charged with felony burglary and criminal mischief, along with several misdemeanors after allegedly smashing the window of The Jem Shoppe Jewelers in downtown Missoula, and stealing several items.
Court documents indicate that late Thursday night, Belcourt allegedly smashed the front window of the jewelry store, reached inside and took several items. When Belcourt saw a police vehicle he attempted to flee on his bicycle. During the pursuit, Belcourt threw several items away, and after he was captured, several pieces of jewelry were recovered. Belcourt had cut his arm while breaking the store window, and was taken to St. Patrick Hospital for treatment, where officers said he was belligerent to the staff, and made several threats against the arresting officer, including against his family.
At his justice court appearance, Deputy Missoula County Attorney Selene Koepke asked Judge Karen Orzech, in her final day on the bench, for a bail of $25,000, citing Belcourt's lengthy criminal history.
After hearing from the public defender that Belcourt was on several medications for fibromyalgia as well as other illnesses, Judge Orzech set bail at $10,000, and ordered Belcourt to have no contact with the Jem Shoppe, the Missoula Police Department and that he have access only to prescription medication.
His next court appearance was scheduled for July 22.