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Stevensville man charged with stealing van
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Stevensville man charged with stealing van

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Marcus Shawn Schiwal

Marcus Shawn Schiwal

A Stevensville man who allegedly stole a van from a bar in Florence and then told officers he had a gun when they arrived at his home was charged with felony theft in Ravalli County Justice Court

Marcus Shawn Schiwal, 28, appeared Monday before Ravalli County Justice Jim Bailey on the felony charge and a misdemeanor count of driving while under the influence of alcohol or drugs.

According to the charging affidavit, Ravalli County deputies responded to a report of a vehicle theft from the Rustic Hut Bar on Sunday, Feb. 9.

The owner of a 2000 Ford Econoline van told officers the keys were inside the vehicle when it was taken. He also said he noticed a long-haired, drunken man stumbling around near his van before it was taken. The victim described the man as 25 to 30 years old with dreadlocks and a Jack Skellington tattoo on his forearm.

The suspect had left his cellphone and vehicle keys on the bar, which were retrieved by the bartender.

The bartender identified Schiwal as the owner of the phone and keys. He knew the man because they had attended high school together in Stevensville.

The keys belonged pickup truck with a license plate that belonged to Schiwal’s parents, who live at the same address as Schiwal on Pine Hollow Drive.

A deputy and the bar’s owner reviewed security footage that showed Schiwal initially sitting at the bar drinking a beer before heading out the south exit. Less than a minute later, headlights can be seen illuminating that same door.

A deputy who went to Schiwal’s address saw weaving and swerving tire tracks heading down the driveway to the residence. At the end of the tracks, he found the van.

The deputy met with Schiwal’s parents, who told him their son had his own tiny home on the property.

After a Montana Highway Patrol trooper arrived, the deputy knocked on the door. At that point, according to the affidavit, Schiwal said, “I have a gun.”

The deputy took cover.

After about 30 seconds, Schiwal left the home with his hands hidden. When the officers instructed him to show his hands, he allegedly responded: “Are you (expletive) with me?”

The affidavit said he was taken to the ground and handcuffed.

Schiwal appeared to be impaired by alcohol due to his poor balance, odor of alcoholic beverage and slurred speech, the affidavit said.

Schiwal told the officers his parents had nothing to do with the van being parked at the residence and then invoked his right to remain silent. He refused a blood test.

A deputy who remained on the scene was granted a search warrant for the home. He found a set of keys that belonged to the van and a pair of boots with a tread pattern that matched prints in the snow outside the van. He also allegedly found a large amount of what appeared to be marijuana stored in five glass containers in the kitchen. They were in plain view from the front door and living area.

Bailey set bond at $5,000.

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