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Man charged after theft of Bozeman police car

bozeman police car lights.jpg
Posted at 12:06 PM, Aug 31, 2022
and last updated 2022-08-31 14:14:19-04

BOZEMAN - A California man was arrested on Monday after allegedly stealing a Bozeman police patrol car, driving into oncoming traffic, and eventually crashing on the interstate.

Travis Hardy, 49, appeared in Gallatin County Justice Court on Tuesday where he was charged with motor vehicle theft and criminal endangerment.

Court documents state around 6:40 p.m. on Monday a Bozeman police officer was dispatched to a welfare check on Hardy near the Law & Justice Center on South 19th Avenue. The officer said he learned the HRDC was planning to buy Hardy a ticket back to California and that he refused to stay at HRDC's warming center.

Hardy reportedly told the officer he would stay in the L&J parking lot until HRDC arrived to take him to the airport.

According to court documents, two women reported seeing Hardy hit car windows with a rock in the parking lot around 8:26 p.m.

As police officers went outside to the scene, Hardy allegedly got behind the wheel of a patrol vehicle and drove away. Officers pursued Hardy as he continued to drive the patrol vehicle through Bozeman.

Court documents say Hardy ran multiple red lights, drove into oncoming traffic, and nearly crashed into several vehicles. Hardy proceeded to drive onto I-90 where he crashed into a guard rail. Officers performed a high-risk stop, arrested Hardy, and transported him to the Gallatin County Detention Center.

Hardy's bond was set at $10,000 in court on Tuesday. His next court appearance is set for Sept. 16.