Judge sets bail at $100,000 for Gallatin Co. chase suspect


BOZEMAN, Mont. - A Gallatin County judge set bail at $100,000 for Matthew Brandemihl, the man deputies say stole three vehicles and led police on high-speed chase Thursday.

NBC Montana was on scene last night when Brandemihl surrendered to Madison County deputies outside of the small town of Pony.

Court records say Brandemihl stole a truck from a business on Hurlburt Rd. south of Belgrade and that deputies were able to use OnStar to track it to the northern part of the county.

According to sheriff's deputies Brandemihl sped off when he spotted them.  The chase reportedly reached speeds near 100 miles an hour on gravel roads.

They eventually lost the truck when it went off road.  Deputies say Brandemihl became stuck and abandoned the vehicle and broke in to nearby home.  A woman was inside at the time and says he took her phone away, stole bottles of beer and grabbed the key to her SUV.

Court records say when he fled the home he used the SUV to crash through the garage door, causing extensive damage to the home.

Troops and deputies spotted Brandemihl again on Sherman Drive and say they chased him all the way to Frontage Rd. 

Officers reported he was headed toward Belgrade in heavy traffic, again at speeds approaching 100 miles an hour.

Court records state that when he reached Collins Rd. he drove up on the railroad right-of-way and crashed through the fence onto I-90, traveling eastbound in the westbound lanes for a short time before crossing over the eastbound lanes and disappearing.

Officers found the SUV ditched behind a business in the area of Thorpe and Amsterdam roads.  Deputies surrounded the area, but said Brandemihl was able to steal a third vehicle before they could catch him.

Around three hours later troopers with the Montana Highway Patrol spotted the third truck between Harrison and Pony, off Highway 287.

Court records say he ditched that truck more than a mile back in the woods and fled on foot.  Madison County Deputies searched the woods around Pony for several hours before he Brandemihl turned himself in.

He faces three counts of theft, one count of burglary and one count of criminal endangerment.  All of the charges are felonies.

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