Thieves take opportunity, keys to drive away with cars

— Two local car thefts within Grangeville had one thing in common:

“In both vehicles, the keys had been left in the car,” said Rick Thanstrom, ordinance officer for Grangeville Police Department. To avoid being a victim of opportunity, as in these cases, Thanstrom advises residents to not leave keys in vehicles.

In the most recent theft, reported on South Hall Street on May 2, Ryan B. Maszk, 33, of Grangeville, was arrested and charged with grand theft auto, a felony, along with unrelated misdemeanor charges of malicious injury to property and resisting and obstructing an officer. He is set for a May 17 preliminary hearing.

Maszk is alleged to have taken a pickup truck belonging to Eleanor Wagner. He was stopped by police who were in the area searching for a suspect who tipped over and spilled the contents of a fuel oil tank. Maszk was later identified as a suspect in that case.

In an apparently unrelated car theft reported April 24, according to Thanstrom, a vehicle was stolen from the north end of town and subsequently located – suffering minimal damage — in a remote area at Kooskia. GPD has a possible suspect in the case and is continuing its investigation.

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