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2 men facing charges following Missoula robberies and chase

Justin Pando and Michael McVey
Posted at 12:45 PM, Jan 13, 2022

A series of robberies in Missoula on Tuesday led to a chase by police, two arrests, and a police patrol vehicle being hit by a train.

Two men were arrested and booked on felony charges following the incidents.

Justin Pando, 31 years old, faces charges of theft and robbery; Michael McVey, 29 was booked for three felonies and a parole violation.

Justin Pando and Michael McVey
Justin Pando and Michael McVey

According to the Missoula Police Department, just after 5 p.m. Tuesday, a pickup truck was reported stolen from the parking lot at the Southgate Mall, with the following events believed to be related.

About five minutes after the report, nearly $100 worth of cigarettes were stolen at the Town Pump on Reserve Street.

About an hour later, a victim reported being held at gunpoint and robbed of personal items in an alley near the 300 block of North Higgins.

Soon after that incident, the stolen pickup truck was located by Missoula County Sheriff’s deputies at the Town Pump Travel Center in Bonner.

MPD, the Missoula County Sheriff's Office, and the Montana Highway Patrol then became involved in a chase with the vehicle.

The pickup truck was stopped by the officers near the Turah Exit on Interstate 90. However, during the chase and arrest of the suspects, an MPD K-9 vehicle was struck by a train.

No one, including the K-9, was injured.