On Saturday, a business in the 1500 block of Benton Avenue called Missoula Police and said a vehicle was stolen from their lot. The business provides repairs and modifications to vehicles. Police Public Information Officer Travis Welsh explains.

“The business owner provided information on the previous owner of the vehicle,” Welsh said. “The information was soon obtained from other sources that the original owner may be in possession of the vehicle. Officers went to that person’s address where they observed the vehicle in the driveway. They waited until persons got in and drove it away. They initiated a stop.”

According to Welsh, the vehicle no longer belonged to the person who stole it from the lot. The business took ownership of the vehicle by filing a lien in court.

“The officers learned that the business had filed legal paperwork claiming ownership after the vehicle had been in their possession for some time, repairs had not been paid for and the owner had not been heard from,” Welsh said. “When the vehicle was stolen, the person actually entered the property unlawfully and took possession of the vehicle.”

33-year-old Echo Laedeke is currently being held for felony theft and criminal trespass to property.

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