Posted: Jun 18, 2013 12:34 PM by Erin Schattauer
BOZEMAN - Bond was continued at $100,000 today for a man accused of stealing three vehicles, breaking into a house and leading police on multiple chases through two counties before eventually surrendering near Pony, Montana.
Matthew Brandemihl, 31, pleaded not guilty to the charges in Gallatin County District Court Tuesday morning before Judge Holly Brown. He's charged with three counts of felony theft, felony burglary and felony criminal endangerment for a day-long crime spree in May.
The day-long chase began at around 7:55 a.m. Thursday, May 23 when the Gallatin County Sheriff's Office got a call that a vehicle had been stolen from Hulbert Road West. The suspect was described as a man around 30 years old with shaggy collar-length blond hair, wearing jeans and a black shirt and appearing to have a leg injury. The caller said his wife saw the man approach the house, ring the doorbell then drive away in their 2006 blue Chevy Silverado, court papers state.
A deputy found the truck at around 8:36 a.m. on Rocky Mountain Road, but the driver fled, leading law enforcement on a high-speed chase that reached speeds of up to 100 miles per hour along gravel roads, court papers state.
Brandemihl reportedly drove the vehicle into a ravine behind a residence on Sherman Drive then broke into the home, took a woman's phone and four bottles of beer then drove her Ford Explorer through the closed garage door.
Montana Highway Patrol troopers began pursuing Brandemihl again. He led them through the county, driving 95 miles per hour on Frontage Road towards Belgrade, then jumping the railroad tracks, driving through a fence on Interstate 90 where he drove the against traffic before crashing the stolen Explorer into a ditch near Business Hub Drive at around 9:30 a.m., court papers state.
Officers surrounded the area but then found that a resident in the area was missing a GMC truck.
At around 12:11 p.m., dispatchers received a call that the truck was spotted between Pony and Harrison. Law enforcement tracked Brandemihl onto Forest Service land near Pony on foot.
Several hours later, he surrendered. He was taken to Bozeman Deaconess Hospital for a leg injury.
During an initial court appearance in Gallatin County Justice Court in May, a judge noted that Brandemihl was wanted on a warrant for failing to appear on charges stemming from an April 11 crash in which he reportedly left the scene. He was charged in that case with failure to give notice of an accident, operating with expired registration and reckless driving.
- Photo from an earlier court appearance