Transient pleads not guilty in car theft case

November 17, 2018

A Flathead County transient recently pleaded not guilty in Flathead District Court to a felony charge dealing with a stolen vehicle that had a child in it.

According to court documents, Isaiah Lee Maura, 22, pleaded not guilty Nov. 8 to one felony count of theft. He remains in the Flathead County Jail on $15,000 bail.

Maura was arrested Oct. 28 after he allegedly stole a 2003 Chevy Tahoe from outside the Hungry Horse Chapel. Maura discovered a 2-year-old child sleeping in the back seat after he took the Tahoe, but he dropped off the child with construction workers at a nearby gas station.

When Maura left the child with the workers, he asked that they “get him back to his parents,” according to a press release from Flathead County Sheriff’s Office.

A short time later, the stolen vehicle was reported missing by a caller at the chapel on U.S. 2. The caller reportedly said they were taking items into the church and had left their child sleeping in the back seat of the car. When they returned, the vehicle and the child were gone.

The uninjured child was returned to his parents.

Information about the stolen vehicle was broadcast in an attempt to locate it. A Columbia Falls police officer observed the stolen vehicle driving on U.S. 2 in Columbia Falls near Super 1 Foods. As the officer attempted to stop the vehicle, it crashed into another car. No one was injured and Maura was taken into custody without incident.

Reporter Scott Shindledecker may be reached at 406-758-4441 or sshindledecker@dailyinterlake.com.

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