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Libby man arrested for arson, burglary

| July 28, 2004 12:00 AM

A 20-year-old Libby man arrested by officers investigating a complaint that he was supplying drugs to an underage girl has been charged with arson and a dozen other felony and misdemeanor charges in connection with several recent burglaries.

Ryan Lee Krebs was arrested on July 12 after police received a report that he was using drugs with an underage girl at his residence along Lodgepole Way. According to court documents, a deputy responding to the complaint arrived at the scene shortly after midnight and found the girl, who tested positive for marijuana use, and Krebs, who had a marijuana pipe in his pocket. Krebs was arrested on misdemeanor charges of possession of drug paraphernalia, endangering the welfare of a child and unlawful transactions with children.

Deputies later executed a search warrant at the residence to look for marijuana and drug paraphernalia. According to reports filed by the officers in justice court, the search revealed a pistol matching the description of one stolen in a July 2 burglary at a residence along Forest Way and a buffer matching the description of one stolen in one of two burglaries at Lasting Impressions Car Care in late June.

Officers stopped the search until a new warrant could be issued to expand the scope to include items stolen in the burglaries. The subsequent search resulted in the seizure of additional items believed stolen in the burglaries, including several firearms.

The July 2 burglary was discovered after a fire destroyed the trailer home owned by Larry Vickrey. Investigating officers concluded that the fire was likely set in an attempt to cover evidence of the burglary.

In addition to the burglary and arson at the Vickrey residence, Krebs was charged in connection with the two burglaries at Lasting Impressions and a burglary at Mac¹s Market.

The first incident at Lasting Impressions was reported on June 22; items reported

stolen included three buffers, a computer and printer, a cordless telephone, a microwave oven and a 13-inch television. The second burglary at the auto detail shop, reported on June 24, involved the theft of another buffer, another cordless phone, a scanner and credit card receipts. An investigating officer found toilet paper stuffed into a heater in a bathroom in an apparent attempt to start a fire.

The Mac¹s Market burglary was also reported on June 24. In that incident, a window was broken and missing items included 15 to 20 cartons of cigarettes along with some lighters and sunglasses.

Krebs was charged with arson, attempted arson, four counts of burglary and two counts of felony theft along with two counts of misdemeanor theft, two counts of misdemeanor criminal mischief and obscuring the identity of a machine, also a misdemeanor.

An 18-year-old man suspected of helping Krebs in the burglary at the Vickrey residence was also arrested when he turned himself in to authorities the day after Krebs was arrested.

According to an affidavit filed in justice court, Spencer Robert Smith was charged with burglary and felony theft after coming to the county sheriff¹s office and admitting to his involvement in the burglary. According to the affidavit, Smith told a detective he and another person — who has not been charged — helped in the burglary, but he denied being involved in setting the fire that destroyed the home.