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Suspects in Columbus High School burglary make court appearance

Dalton Hilliard of Billings and Grant Russell of Bozeman
Posted at 9:37 AM, Sep 24, 2019
and last updated 2019-09-24 13:05:52-04

BILLINGS — The two men accused of a major theft at Columbus High School on Friday made their first court appearance Monday.

Dalton Hilliard of Billings, 21 years old, and Grant Russell of Bozeman, 23, appeared in justice court in Rosebud County but did not enter a plea for a long list of charges.

Hilliard was arrested on charges of motor vehicle theft, criminal trespass to property, obstructing a peace officer, driving with a suspended license, and eluding a peace officer. Russell was arrested on charges of motor vehicle theft, criminal trespass to property, and obstructing a peace officer.

According to Columbus Police Chief Jacob Ward, the two men started by allegedly walking into the Columbus High School football locker room at about 9 p.m. on Friday and stole keys, wallets, and cell phones that were not put away in a secured locker. Using the stolen keys, Hilliard and Russell took a black BMW X5 SUV, and a silver Audi A6; they also reportedly stole 32 cell phones, 17 wallets, 30 sets of keys, and backpacks.

The suspects didn't make it far before Ward said they were spotted 18 miles east in Park City. “Both of the vehicles were spotted in Park City at about 9:20 p.m. last night," Ward said. "And we were able to confirm that with video at the Park City Zip Trip."

Ward said the suspects made purchases with a stolen credit card at the gas station in Park City. From there, they headed eastward again to Forsyth.

"The Rosebud County Sheriff’s were able to locate the vehicle after a short pursuit and a foot chase," Ward said. "Two suspects are in custody at this point and the vehicle was impounded," Word said.

The two were arrested Saturday in Forsyth after crashing a 2006 Audi they allegedly stole. A 2013 black BMW is still missing.

Both men requested defense attorneys during the hearing before Justice of the Peace Pro-Tem Alicia Fritz in Forsyth.

Hilliard is being held on a $7,085 bond, while Russell is jailed on a $5,600 bond.

PREVIOUSLY: Suspects identified after crashing stolen car following massive locker-room burglary in Columbus