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Man charged with burglarizing Yellowstone County marijuana dispensaries

Police searching for second suspect
Posted at 10:20 PM, Mar 02, 2021
and last updated 2021-03-03 12:10:44-05

BILLINGS — Nathaniel Steffek was arrested in Billings on Saturday after police said he and another suspect burglarized two medical marijuana dispensaries, according to the Yellowstone County Sheriff's Office.

Steffek and the other suspect allegedly used a stolen Hanser's Automotive service truck and rammed both dispensary buildings to get in, Undersheriff Sam Bofto told MTN News on Tuesday.

Sheriff's deputies were dispatched to Montana Advanced Caregivers at 11010 S. Frontage Road near Laurel for a burglar alarm at 5:12 a.m. on Saturday. Police said the security camera footage showed a Hanser's Automotive service truck bash into the front of the building.

While still at the scene, deputies got a call for a second burglar alarm about six miles northeast at the medical marijuana dispensary Marimint at 6845 Niehenke Ave.

One of the responding sheriff's deputies was a former employee of Hanser's and knew the trucks were tracked by GPS. Hanser's staff were able to use the GPS to find the truck at Pioneer Park in Billings parked in the lot on the west side of the park next to the Zimmerman Building.

Yellowstone County Capt. Dan Paris said Billings police officers located the truck and found Steffeck and another suspect inside. The suspects allegedly drove the truck east through Pioneer Park and crashed the vehicle near a home a few blocks away.

Police were able to apprehend Steffek, but the other suspect got away. Bofto and Paris said the second suspect's identity is known by law enforcement.

Deputies confiscated marijuana from Steffek, and some was destroyed during the incident. A portion was also returned to the businesses.

Steffek has been charged with five felonies: two counts of burglary, criminal possession of dangerous drugs, and two counts of criminal mischief.