A Northwest Montana man who stole numerous vehicles from Sanders, Lake and Flathead counties, and burglarized several homes in Troy will spend time behind bars.
Eugene Thomas Germain, 25, appeared in Lincoln County District Court on Aug. 22 and was sentenced to 20 years in prison, with 10 suspended, according to the Lincoln County Clerk of Courts Office. He was also ordered to pay restitution in the amount of $650. Germain had pleaded guilty to felony burglary charges July 8.
According to court documents, Germain was spotted driving a 2014 Ford pickup at the top of Yaak hill off U.S. 2 on May 22. The truck had been reported stolen out of Sanders County on May 20.
Germain attempted to flee at a high rate of speed when law officers attempted to stop the vehicle. Officer lost track of the pickup, but a citizen later reported seeing the truck on her property on Lake Creek Road. The truck had backed through her locked gate and up the road. Germain then allegedly fled on foot and later entered another house on Lake Creek where he stole a bottle of tequila.
Later that evening, another resident on Lake Creek reported that someone had entered their home and that their pistol was missing.
While searching the area, police found Germain asleep in a bed inside a cabin near Lake Creek, with the missing pistol on his hip in a holster. He was also found to be in possession of a hunting pack, another pistol along with search and rescue equipment. Police also found Germain to be in possession of stolen wallets from Sanders County, and credit cards from a Bonner County, Idaho resident.
Upon booking the suspect, officers learned that Germain was suspected of stealing trucks and committing burglaries in both Flathead and Lake counties. Germain allegedly admitted to police that he stole two trucks in Lake County, another in Flathead County and two trucks in Sanders County.