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A Three Forks man stole thousands of dollars worth of merchandise from businesses in Bozeman and Livingston in the past couple weeks, according to law enforcement.

Police found household and outdoor equipment in a vehicle driven by Corey Gustafson, 32, on Thursday morning outside Kenyon Noble in Bozeman, according to court documents.

The items included a Nightforce NX8 Riflescope, valued at $2,150, a Swarovski EL Range 10x42, valued at $3,299.99, two window-mount air conditions, a hammer drill, a chainsaw, two leaf blowers and a plastic tote with Kenyon Noble work clothes, drinks and snacks, according to court documents.

The items in Gustafson’s possession were reported stolen from Kenyon Noble and Bob Wards in Bozeman and Yellowstone Sporting Goods in Livingston. The

The Gallatin County Attorney’s Office has charged Gustafson with theft of property exceeding $5,000 or common scheme, punishable by a fine of up to $10,000, up to 10 years in prison or both.

He appeared in Gallatin County Justice Court by video on Friday, when Judge Bryan Adams set his bail at $100,000.

Gustafson told law enforcement he entered Kenyon Noble through a hole in the garden center fence, stole items from the business and stashed them in a vehicle and in some bushes nearby, according to Bozeman police.

He allowed police to search the vehicle, and when asked why he stole the air conditioners, he replied, “it’s hot,” according to court documents.

Gustafson also told law enforcement the binoculars and scope found in a duffle bag in his vehicle were items he purchased, but investigators later confirmed the merchandise also stolen in late July.

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Bret Hauff is the Chronicle's city editor. He can be reached at bhauff@dailychronicle.com or 406-582-2647.

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