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Bail jumper caught in closet

Bail jumper caught in closet

Federal task force officers this weekend arrested a fugitive they found hiding in a closet in a Belgrade residence, said U.S. Marshal Dwight MacKay.

Rusty Yant, 35, had jumped bail in Valley County and led the Montana Highway Patrol officers on a pursuit in Rosebud County last week before eluding law enforcement.

Rod Ostermiller, chief deputy of the U.S. Marshals Service in Montana, said Monday that the Montana Violent Offender Task Force and Belgrade police Saturday arrested Yant after officers tracked him to a residence where he was hiding in a closet. He was arrested without incident and booked into the Gallatin County jail.

Yant was wanted in Anaconda on charges of felony theft, felony criminal mischief, criminal trespass and failure to give notice of an accident. Valley County authorities arrested Yant on the warrants. Yant posted bond and jumped bail.

Valley County Sheriff Glen Meier asked the task force for help finding Yant, Ostermiller said. Shortly thereafter, Yant led troopers on a high-speed pursuit on Nov. 18 in Rosebud County.

The chase started on Interstate 94 when a trooper attempted a traffic stop. Yant left the interstate and turned onto Butte Creek Road. The trooper followed Yant, who was driving a 1996 Ford pickup, until he left the road and took off cross-country. Troopers searched the area until after dark.

Task force officers found Yant's truck abandoned at Chico Hot Springs in Park County late last week and through interviews and tips found Yant in Belgrade, Ostermiller said.

The task force is glad to help state and local agencies in tracking fugitives, Ostermiller said. Last week, the task force arrested 15 fugitives. Fourteen were wanted on state and local warrants, he said.

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