Two People Caught Stealing Copper From a Missoula Hospital Building
Missoula, MT (KGVO-AM News) - On September 27, 2022, Missoula Police Department officers responded to a building in the 500 block of W. Front Street for a disturbance. St. Patrick Hospital security staff found two individuals in one of their buildings. Police Public Information Officer Lydia Arnold explains.
“Ivan Prindel and Samantha Lien were taken into custody on charges of burglary,” Arnold said. “Officers responded to the 500 block of W. Front Street for the report of two individuals who had bolt cutters to cut a hole into a fence to access the building, which they did not have permission to be in. The caller observed the individuals in the building taking items that did not belong to them.”
The building in which Lien and Prindel were located is connected by tunnels to other buildings, including the main hospital, and is used for employment purposes of St. Patrick Hospital.
“When officers arrived on the scene, they set a permitter and entered the building to locate the individuals,” Arnold said. “Officers announced their presence, but nobody came out. Officers began to strategically clear the building and eventually two people, Ivan Prindel and Samantha Lien, were taken into custody. This case is still under investigation with the Missoula Police Department Detective Division.”
Court documents indicate Lien was found hiding under a desk trying to conceal herself and Prindel was located elsewhere. Lien was Mirandized and agreed to speak with officers. Lien said she and Prindel entered the building so they could steal copper pipes inside the building and the security guard found them after she had cut and taken one piece of piping. Lien said she sells the copper at a recycling center for $2.00 per pound.
Prindel and Lien are both currently being charged with one count of felony burglary.
The information in this article was obtained from sources that are publicly viewable.