On September 18, 2022, at approximately 9:56 a.m., Missoula Police Department officers were dispatched to an apartment building in the 200 block of South 5th Street East. Dispatch advised officers that they had received multiple complaints of a male suspect, Zachary Ireland, potentially trespassing at the apartment building. Police Public Information Officer Lydia Arnold picks up the story. 

“The complainant told officers Ireland had been coming to the apartment complex, breaking in, stealing things, and causing other problems,” Arnold said. “On the scene, the complainant took officers to a previously locked door and officers observed where a lock had been broken open. There was obvious damage to the locking mechanism. The complainant continued to explain the situation to officers and stated Ireland had been trespassed from the property, but today, a resident called and stated Ireland was back in a basement apartment, which he was not permitted to be in.” 

When officers investigated the basement apartment, the locking mechanism was damaged, mail had been messed with, the furnace was tampered with, and a toilet had been clogged and left overflowing, which caused damage to the floors. 

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“At the time of the report, Ireland was not located,” Arnold said. “Five hours later, officers responded to a burglary alarm at a local church, which is in close proximity to the apartment building. Officers located an unsecured door and gave verbal commands of their presence. Ireland revealed himself and was taken into custody.” 

Ireland’s identity was confirmed by referencing a previous booking photo. After Ireland was taken into custody, the building was cleared without further incident. 

"Officers did a walkthrough with a responder to the church where some items were observed to be tampered with,” Arnold said. “While in the back of the police car, Ireland began speaking without having been spoken to and made comments about going into the church knowing it was closed, but decided to enter anyway. Under Miranda warning, Ireland made additional comments to officers about how and why he went into the church. This case is still under investigation with Missoula Police Department Detectives.” 

Ireland is currently being charged with two counts of felony burglary. On Monday, Ireland made his initial appearance in Missoula Justice Court where his bail was set at $50,000. 

The information in this article was obtained from sources that are publicly viewable.

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