BOZEMAN – Brad Allen Essig, 36, was arrested on Wednesday for allegedly stealing more than $5,000 worth of construction trailers and tools from residences and storage units around Gallatin County.
According to court documents, a Gallatin County deputy sheriff was investigating numerous theft reports received by the Sheriff’s Office, the Bozeman Police Department, and the Belgrade Police Department, from January up to the present.
The deputy reportedly found evidence linking Essig to the thefts during the course of his investigation and was granted a search warrant for Essig’s Gallatin Gateway residence and surrounding property.
During the search on Wednesday, the deputy reported finding a large amount of stolen tools and property, including items with serial numbers matching those provided by victims.
Essig was taken into custody for questioning during the search. Court documents state that he voluntarily waived his rights and admitted that he had taken several of the recovered items. He also allegedly gave thorough details of the thefts, including the location of some of the stolen property.
Essig appeared in Gallatin County Justice Court on Thursday, where the state prosecutor presented photos of firearms, including a sawed-off shotgun, that Essig reportedly had in his possession. The prosecution also noted that Essig has a pending felony stalking charge in District Court and asked for $100,000 bail, arguing that he is a threat to the safety of the community.
Essig’s defense attorney requested a bail amount of $9,000, noting his ties to the community and opportunities for work if released.
Judge Rick West set Essig’s bail at $50,000, with GPS monitoring as a condition of his release. His preliminary hearing is set for June 8.