Man Caught Squatting in a Missoula Apartment
Missoula, MT (KGVO-AM News) - At approximately 9:35 a.m. on October 10, 2023, a Missoula Police Department Officer responded to a report of suspicious activity in the 900 block of Wyoming Street. There was a male on the scene who wasn’t supposed to be there, who had tried to get into three apartments and was looking into vehicles in the parking lot.
The officer located the male walking away from the area. The male primarily spoke Spanish and verbally identified him as 30-year-old Ernesto Acevedo-Contreras. The officer searched Ernesto and found keys to a Mercedes, and multiple debit and credit cards belonging to a woman identified as M.T.
Ernesto told the officer that he got the keys from an apartment down the street. The officers then learned that M.T. actually lives in the apartment. Maintenance workers were on scene and were aware that M.T. was out of town on a trip, and saw evidence that someone had been in the apartment.
Officers responded to the apartment and the stove was still warm. It was apparent that someone had been in the apartment sleeping and cooking. In addition to him staying the night there, the officers determined that Ernesto had taken clothing belonging to M.T.’s late husband, and was wearing his pants, shoes, and sweatshirt.
Ernesto told the officer that he had gone into the apartment the night before after finding the door unlocked. He said he stayed there, helped himself to things in the fridge, and took some of M.T.’s items. The officer spoke with M.T. and did a walkthrough of the apartment with her on Facetime.
It appeared from the walkthrough that Ernesto had slept in her bed, worn one of her white winter jackets, eaten her food, and was essentially squatting in her apartment. Ernesto’s pants were in the bathroom on the floor, and his boots and socks were on the floor in the living room. Ernesto had also apparently changed the language on the TV to Spanish.
M.T.’s neighbor told the officer that his Jeep’s windows were cracked open, but the doors were locked. He suspected that Ernesto tried to enter his vehicle and wasn’t successful. Ernesto later admitted to an officer that he wasn’t just trying to break into the Jeep, but that he was actually trying to completely steal the Jeep. The police report indicates the value of the Jeep is $35,000.
Ernesto was placed under arrest and transported to the Missoula County Detention Facility. He is currently being charged with felony burglary, felony attempted theft, and criminal trespass to property.
The information in this article was obtained from sources that are publicly viewable.