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Iconic classic cars stolen, recovered

| June 13, 2020 11:02 AM

MULLAN — Two of the Silver Valley’s most iconic classic cars were stolen, then recovered Saturday morning after a lengthy pursuit.

Shoshone County Sheriff’s Office Lt. Jeff Lee tells the News-Press that around 5 a.m. on Saturday, two individuals broke into the garage portion of a home located in the 500 block of Willow Creek Road in Mullan.

The homeowners, Cliff and Nancy Arthur, are well-known to be avid classic car collectors and boast an impressive collection that includes a 1969 “General Lee” replica Dodge Charger and an Orange 1970 Dodge Super Bee.

It was these two vehicles that the burglars set their sights on and stole with keys that were either in or near them at the time of theft.

Lt. Lee states the Arthurs could hear the burglars since the noise woke them up. Not long after the call to 911 went out, an ATL (Attempt To Locate) was sent out to local units and law enforcement agencies in Montana for the two unique cars. Montana units were notified due to the reported direction they were traveling on Interstate 90 as they left Mullan.

Around 7:30 a.m., SCSO deputies spotted the Dodge Super Bee on I-90 and ended up conducting a high risk traffic stop in the Wallace visitor center’s parking lot. Deputies took Leif P. Larsen, 40, of Port Angeles, Wash., into custody without incident. At that time, Larsen identified the second suspect in the General Lee as Daniel F. Haslage, 25, of Montana.

Soon after, Montana State Patrol notified SCSO that they were in pursuit of the General Lee in Sanders County, Mont.

“Ultimately, the stolen vehicle crashed and the subject fled while armed with a rifle into the nearby woods,” Lt. Lee said. “A perimeter was set up, K-9 units and a helicopter worked together with additional Montana law enforcement units to locate the outstanding suspect.”

Daniel was located that afternoon and taken into custody for charges within Montana jurisdiction.

The investigation is ongoing, but charges will be filed in Idaho on both suspects for their actions within Shoshone County.

“With the quick actions of SCSO deputies and help from Montana law enforcement, the stolen vehicles were returned to the owner and the suspects were taken into custody quickly,” Lee said.

While the Super Bee was recovered in the same condition it was in before it was stolen, the General Lee was not so lucky.

Nancy Arthur told the Spokane Hot Rod Association that the crash caused significant front-end damage.

“It hit so hard that it broke the motor mount and pushed the fan into the radiator,” the SHRA stated online.

In addition to being featured in numerous events across the Silver Valley over the years, the Aurthur’s General Lee replica has been featured in the SHRA magazine and was used several times with the Spokane Hot Rod Girls Model Team shoots.