Missoula, MT (KGVO-AM News) - On October 30, 2022, a Home Depot employee reported that a person had just taken two Honda generators from the store without paying and left in a maroon Ford Expedition. The complainant sent law enforcement photos of the male suspect and his vehicle.  

The suspect was a black male wearing a black and red plaid jacket and red shoes. Officers located the vehicle nearby on Brooks Street and conducted a stop. Police Public Information Officer Lydia Arnold picks up the story. 

“Officers responded to a report of a felony theft, which had just occurred and the suspect was still in the area,” Arnold said. “The caller provided dispatch a vehicle description and license plate information. The Missoula County Sheriff’s Office deputies located the vehicle and detained Derry Howard while Missoula Police Department officers responded.” 

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According to court documents, Howard said his identical brother committed the theft and that they had dropped his brother off. However, Howard was in possession of the generators in the vehicle. Howard asked the officer to look up his brother on Facebook.  

The officer looked him up and his appearance did not match the person from the surveillance video and he did not appear to be identical to Howard. The employee from Home Depot came to the scene and positively identified Howard as the suspect. 

“Officers located the involved parties and made contact,” Arnold said. “Howard was provided his Miranda warning and spoke with officers. Officers spoke with store employees and reviewed video surveillance, which indicated Howard was in the store taking the items. Officers noted Howard was wearing the same shoes as seen on video surveillance. This case is still under investigation and the items taken from the establishment are greater than a $1,500 value.” 

The total value of the generators was $2,798. Howard was also a suspect in a previous theft of a generator from Home Depot. He was wearing the same clothing in the prior theft.  

Howard is currently being charged with felony theft and obstructing a peace officer. 

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

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