Bigfork teen arrested for school burglary

by SCOTT SHINDLEDECKER
Daily Inter Lake | November 19, 2020 3:15 AM

A Bigfork teen was arrested for burglarizing a Kalispell elementary school.

Andrew Wade Francisco, 18, was charged with burglary and is lodged in the Flathead County Detention Center on $5,000 bail.

He is scheduled to be arraigned at 9 a.m. Wednesday, Nov. 25 in Flathead County District Court. Francisco faces a maximum sentence of 20 years in the Montana State Prison.

According to charging documents, a principal at Russell Elementary School called the Kalispell Police Department Sept. 22 to report an intruder. A school custodian confronted the man and he ran off.

When the officer spoke to the custodian, he reported a missing key and the principal believed it’s how the intruder got into the school. After watching video surveillance, the officer saw a man use a key to enter several classrooms and had some items in his possession.

The officer spoke with a teacher who found a key on her desk and it turned out to be a master key. The officer sent several still images from video surveillance to fellow officers and one identified the man as Francisco.

A former school principal also spoke with the officer and reported a former teacher had encountered a random stranger in the school during the summer. When she asked him his name, he said “Andrew.”

The former teacher identified the man as Francisco after seeing a photo lineup.