Twin Bridges men help apprehend burglary suspects

Two Twin Bridges men took decisive action and were instrumental in the apprehension of two suspected burglars last Thursday morning. The two men, who wish to remain anonymous, observed suspicious activity at a Twin Bridges storage unit business, notified authorities and pursued the suspects from Twin Bridges to Whitehall, where the suspected burglars were cornered and arrested.

A press release from Madison County Sheriff Roger Thompson follows in its entirety:

"Two Twin Bridges area residents on their way to work interrupted a burglary in Twin Bridges at about 5 a.m. on March 29 and ended up following them, while at the same time notifying Madison County Sheriff’s Office of the incident, until they could be arrested. The incident started out when the two arrived at a business to carpool, saw a vehicle that did not belong there and saw two people get into the vehicle and flee the burglary scene. The suspects were followed to Whitehall where they drove down a dead end in the current construction area just south of Whitehall. The suspects were forced to turn back and tried to again get away, striking one of the citizens vehicles with the vehicle they were driving. The collision resulted in the suspects leaving the roadway and stopping. One suspect got out of his vehicle, jumped onto the hood of one of the following vehicles, grabbed a hammer and began to threaten the two following him. Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office arrived at the scene and took the two suspects into custody.

"'These two people did a tremendous job,' said Sheriff Roger Thompson. 'It is always the choice of the individual on how deeply to get involved in a situation like this and it is very personal decision, given the risks. This was a brave and gutsy move on their parts and should be commended. It will no doubt help our current theft and burglary problem in our county.'

"The suspects arrested were Rodney Burd 40 and Harley Johnson 22, both from Butte. Since the burglary occurred in Madison County, the assault in Jefferson County and the crash was handled by the Montana Highway patrol, the three agencies will be working together to compile various charges on the suspects."

Thompson reported Monday stolen goods had been recovered from the suspects' vehicle.

On Monday, The Madisonian spoke with one of the Twin Bridges men who helped apprehend the suspects. "Hopefully, it will send a message to people to quit stealing stuff," he said.

The man said a theft had occurred at the facility the previous night. "The night before, the people got away, because the police didn't have time to make it there," he said. "It's the middle of the night and it's a big county. So, we didn't want them to get out of sight because they'd disappear. We were mainly just trying to keep up with them until the cops could apprehend them."

The man and his friend observed the suspected burglars leaving the scene in a pickup truck and pursued the suspects in separate vehicles. "We saw them jump in their rig when we pulled up and it was pretty obvious they were up to no good," he said. "Why else would they be there? The whole thing only lasted 25 minutes total. It was high speeds all the way to Whitehall."

"We don't want credit for anything," the man added. "We did what we had to and we'd do it again if we had to."

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The Madisonian

65 N. MT Hwy 287
Ennis, MT 59729

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