NewsCrime Watch


Billings carjacking suspect arrested in Great Falls following wild crime spree

SIMMS Montana map
simms cascade great falls.jpg
Montana Highway 200 is currently blocked at mile marker 128 in Simms due to a crash.
Posted at 12:20 PM, Oct 18, 2022
and last updated 2022-10-18 21:02:22-04

GREAT FALLS — Santana Ledeau is facing several criminal charges after leading law enforcement officers on a high-speed chase in Cascade County on Monday.

Ledeau has also been identified as the suspect in an armed carjacking in Billings in which police said the victim was threatened with a handgun and pepper-sprayed.

In Cascade County, court documents state officers responded to a reported disturbance involving a firearm at Ski's Western Motel on 10th Avenue South in Great Falls.

The suspect - later identified as Ledeau - left the hotel in a white Chevrolet pickup truck. Officers began receiving reports of "road rage" incidents and a hit-and-run involving the truck. Police found the truck in city limits, but the driver sped away. Great Falls police officers stopped the chase due to the risk to the public at the time.

A short time later, an attempted robbery was reported south of Great Falls along I-15 near Ulm. The victim told officers that he had been approached by a man in a white Chevrolet pickup truck. Court documents state the suspect then tried to steal the victim's vehicle, pointed a gun at the victim, and then shot out the rear window of the victim's vehicle.

The suspect drove away and ran out of gas in the town of Cascade, where he approached a person and asked for gas. The person did not have any gas, but offered the suspect a ride to get gas.

Once inside the victim's vehicle, the suspect reportedly brandished a gun and the victim got out of the vehicle, leaving the suspect as the operator of the vehicle.

Court documents state that sheriff's deputies arrived and the suspect then accelerated the stolen vehicle and tried to hit one of the deputies. He then drove onto the northbound lane of I-15 and began speeding away heading south.

The suspect got off the highway at Wolf Creek in Lewis & Clark County and continued speeding away on Highway 434 with law enforcement officers chasing him.

During the chase, the stolen vehicle collided with the vehicle of a Cascade County sheriff's deputy, and the suspect reportedly pointed a gun at the deputy.

The chase finally ended in the town of Simms, where the stolen vehicle collided with a vehicle that was backing out of a driveway and then crashed into a ditch.

Suspect arrested after high-speed chase in Cascade County
Suspect arrested after high-speed chase in Cascade County

Ledeau was arrested and taken to the Cascade County Detention Center.

Ledeau has been charged with two felony counts of robbery, two counts of felony assault on a peace officer, and felony criminal endangerment.

In the Billings case, the Billings Police Department said on Tuesday that Ledeau has now been identified as the suspect in an armed carjacking that happened on Sept. 30. In that case, police said Ledeau pointed a handgun and pepper-sprayed the victim before stealing the vehicle.

Court documents also allege that Ledeau robbed a convenience store in Yellowstone County and threatened the store clerk with a machete.

There were no serious injuries reported to any officers, citizens, or Ledeau.

Great Falls Police Chief Jeff Newton said that many schools in Cascade County implemented shelter-in-place procedures as the chase progressed only as a precaution due to the "erratic" behavior of Ladeau. There was no direct threat to schools or students.

Great Falls police asked anyone with information about the incident, including anyone who was in danger due to the suspect's driving, to contact them. Tipsters may remain anonymous. You can call the department at 406-455-8408, send a message to the GFPD Facebook page, or report online at WWW.P3TIPS.COM.

NEWS CONFERENCE: Suspect arrested after high-speed chase