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Missoula Police Department

A man accused of blaring stolen musical instruments in the face of law enforcement last week is facing new burglary charges while being held on a quarter-million dollar bond.

Michael O'Keefe last week walked into Missoula City Hall equipped with multiple saxophones and began playing them loudly in front of the police department, Missoula Police Sgt. and Public Information Officer Travis Welsh said. 

Welsh could hear the noise from his office, deep in the police department's interior offices. He went outside to try reasoning with the man, he said. About the same time, the department received a call from a music store notifying authorities that two saxophones had been stolen that very morning. 

According to charging documents filed Dec. 4, O'Keefe allegedly took two saxophones from the Stringed Instrument Division around 10 a.m. that day. An employee from the shop said he saw a man carrying them out of the store. One sax was reportedly valued at $1,700, the second was worth about $1,050.

When O'Keefe came to the police department later that day, he reportedly told officers they were family heirlooms that had been stolen from him, but he was unable to provide any more details. 

O'Keefe was charged with felony burglary, as well as criminal mischief for some damage done to the music store door, and released, Welsh said.

O'Keefe turned up again around 6 a.m. Monday when law enforcement responded to a reported burglary on the 900 block of Cooper Street. One of the residents there said he woke up to find O'Keefe, a neighbor, standing in his bedroom.

By then, O'Keefe had returned to his own apartment. But police found evidence of someone breaking into three other apartments, where several items had gone missing. 

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Police found O'Keefe in his apartment, which he refused to leave, threatening to spit on the officers and throwing a beer bottle at one, according to court documents. When he was eventually arrested, police reported finding most of the missing items in O'Keefe's apartment. 

O'Keefe now faces five additional new charges for Monday's alleged incident, including three counts of felony burglary, assault on a peace officer and attempted assault on a peace officer. 

He's being held at Missoula County jail on $250,000 bond.

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Criminal justice