KALISPELL — A man is behind bars in Browning following a pursuit of a stolen vehicle that began in Columbia Falls on Monday afternoon.
Flathead County Sheriff Brian Heino says the incident began at approximately 3:30 p.m. when deputies located a vehicle that had just been reported stolen from the Town Pump on 9th Street in Columbia Falls.
The vehicle was first seen by law enforcement headed east on US Highway 2 in Columbia Heights and deputies attempted to stop the vehicle in Hungry Horse.
Deputies pursued the vehicle east on Highway 2 but eventually ended the pursuit due to traffic and the unsafe driving behavior of the suspect, according to a news release.
Two Bear Air was called in to assist law enforcement and the vehicle later was seen in the area of Marias Pass headed toward East Glacier.
Glacier County Law Enforcement was able to deploy spike strips east of Marias Pass causing at least one tire on the vehicle to deflate. However, the suspect continued toward Browning before stopping on a gravel road east of Browning on Highway 89.
Sheriff Heino says Glacier County law enforcement then arrested Theo Old Chief, 31, of Browning. He was taken to the Bureau of Indian Affairs jail in Browning pending charges from the Flathead County Attorney’s Office.
The Columbia Falls Police Department, the Montana Highway Patrol and the Flathead County Sheriff’s Office are continuing to investigate the incident.