Libby resident sentenced for burglary conviction

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Matthew Manfred Priebe (Paul Sievers/The Western News)

A Libby man guilty of his involvment in a burglary last fall in the city was recently sentenced to serve time in prison.

Matthew Priebe received 10 years, 5 suspended, in the the Montana Department of Corrections from Judge Matt Cuffe.

According to court documents, Priebe admitted to a Libby Police Patrol Captain Boyd White that he had entered a garage on East 5th Street Oct. 30, 2018, and taken several tools, including a planer.

Priebe also allowed police to search a residence where he said he was living and where the missing merchandise could be found.

Priebe had been pulled over by the officer in relation to another burglary that occurred at the same residence.

In that case, Gregory Moss received a 10-year sentence with 5 years suspended with the Montana Department of Corrections for one count of felony burglary.

Deputy Boyd White, with the Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office, reported responding to a burglary on East 5th Street in Libby, where a garage door had been forced open, in late October.

At the scene, White found two knives with bent tips and a broken spatula laying near the garage door, which appeared to have been used to pry it open, according to the report. The property owner noticed multiple tools missing.

The day after the garage break-in, White was dispatched to a Libby pawn shop because the store reportedly had possible theft suspects, according to the report. He pulled over Matthew Priebe, who said items he was trying to sell, which the shop would not take, were given to him.

White reported he could tell the questions he asked Priebe about the stolen items were not answered entirely.

Priebe told police they were putting him in a “rough situation.”

Priebe initially denied having any knowledge of the garage theft.

After being detained by White, Priebe told him the property he took to sell was given to him by Moss and another person, according to the report.

White interviewed a woman who said she had been at the house on 5th Street with Moss, according to the report.

She told White that she saw Moss take the laser level from the garage and give it to Priebe in order for him to pawn it.

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