They Were Helping Him 'Move.' Then They Saw Military Medals
Unwitting theft accomplices didn't recall ever hearing Patrick Adams mention his service
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Oct 1, 2017 10:45 AM CDT
Patrick Joseph Adams Jr.   (Idaho State Journal)

(Newser) – Police in Montana say a man told friends he needed help moving and got their unwitting help stealing $40,000 worth of items from another man's home. One of the friends allegedly rented a U-Haul in the July incident without knowing it would be used in a crime, the AP reports. The other told police he became suspicious and left after he saw military medals in the Great Falls home; he doubted 36-year-old Patrick Joseph Adams Jr. served in the military. Investigators say the true homeowner came home later that night, found his home had been burglarized, and called 911. Per the Great Falls Tribune, neighbors told cops they'd seen a U-Haul and an SUV at the home earlier that day, and so police headed over to the local U-Haul rental office.

They discovered a man ID'd as "RP" in court documents had rented a vehicle that day, and when they spoke to him, he said he'd rented it as a favor for "Big Mike" (later identified as Adams) because Adams said he didn't have a current driver's license. Police also tracked down the man driving the SUV, known as "NW," and NW revealed he, RP, Adams, and Adams' girlfriend, Chantelle Beal, all helped move items out of the home. NW is the one who says he thought it odd to see military medals on the walls (Adams had never talked about his service) and that Beal couldn't find the home's basement. Prosecutors charged Adams on Thursday with burglary and criminal mischief, both felonies. The Great Falls Tribune reports Adams faces up to 30 years in prison and $100,000 in fines. It wasn't clear if Adams had a lawyer.

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