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Alleged car thiefs caught after chase, trying to flee in woods near Essex

| January 6, 2023 6:00 AM

Two people are behind bars after allegedly stealing a pickup from Meridian Road in Kalispell on Jan. 5 and leading local authorities on a chase that ended on foot some 60 miles away near Essex.

Leah Lynn Reevis, 34, of Browning is being held in the county jail on pending felony theft and misdemeanor obstructing a peace officer and resisting arrest charges. Robert James Spradlin, 40, of Kalispell, who also is being held in the detention center, faces pending felony theft and criminal endangerment charges.

Deputies began the pursuit on U.S. 2 near Glacier Park International Airport about 11 p.m. after spotting a pickup reported stolen in Kalispell, according to a press release issued Jan. 6 by Nic Salois, patrol commander with the Flathead County Sheriff’s Office. Deputies followed the allegedly stolen Dodge Ram 1500 to West Glacier where the chase ended owing to road conditions, Salois wrote.

Aware of the truck’s fuel level, deputies expected it to stall in the area of West Glacier, officials said. Authorities dispatched Two Bear Air to try and track the vehicle from above while deputies continued to travel eastward on U.S. 2. They found the pickup abandoned near Essex, Salois wrote, and discovered two sets of footprints in the snow leading south.

From the sky, a Two Bear Air crew located two individuals about 100 yards from the abandoned vehicle. They directed deputies to the suspects, who were later identified as Reevis and Spradlin, officials said.

Spradlin is thought to be the driver, Salois wrote.

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