A man was high on meth when he stole the Elder Grove School ATV, he told investigators.

Tyson Allen Gilmore, 25, appeared on a felony theft charge in Yellowstone County Justice Court on Tuesday.

According to charges, Gilmore asked an acquaintance for a ride to Elder Grove School around 3 p.m. on Sept. 20, telling the man he needed to recover an ATV that was his. Gilmore told the man it was purchased with money obtained by defrauding people and the school was declining to give it back.

After being dropped off at the school, Gilmore walked under security cameras and looked up at them, charges state. He took the ATV to the acquaintance’s house several hours later and stored it on the property. When the man learned it was stolen, he called the sheriff’s office and urged Gilmore to turn himself in.

A family member of Gilmore said he’d been acting strangely and had started using meth.

Gilmore told sheriff’s office officials that he had planned to sell the ATV for $7,500 to pay back family members and his Wyoming attorney. He had also planned to buy more meth.

The ATV is worth $18,000. School officials use it for snow removal, spraying, hauling tools and other tasks. The school bought the vehicle after fundraising for almost a year.

The ATV sustained $89 worth of damage during the theft, school officials said.


Justice Reporter

Justice reporter for the Billings Gazette.