BOZEMAN — The sentencing day for a man charged with robbing a Bozeman smoke shop and firing a gun at a store employee took place this week.
It all happened in September of last year when Matthew Noorlander ran into Mellow Mood Pipe and Tobacco, then ran off with a $400 water pipe only to be chased down by an employee working inside.
He’s now going to spend the next seven years in prison, news that the staff inside Mellow Mood say is a relief.
“I was just surprised it happened here, honestly," says Mike Wimsat, who works at Mellow Mood.
The surveillance footage still holds a lasting memory for Mellow Mood employees Wimsat and Journey McKay.
“He went over the counter and pushed him down and that’s when the kid on the ground was, like, pulling out a gun," Wimsat says.
“Chase just leaped over the counter and just took after him," McKay says. "It was scary, though, especially because there were people practicing band over there on the MSU fields.”
Matthew Noorlander, allegedly driven to the store by Michael St. Pierre, walked inside, acting as if he were going to buy the $400 water pipe before making the dash.
Wimsat and McKay say their coworker, Chase, was hot on his heels.
Security cameras caught every move.
“I was really surprised," McKay says. "I actually knew the guy so that was just kind of. It was bound to happen eventually. Someone could have gotten hurt. This is our little store. Not very many people come in that we are sketched out about but they acted totally normal.”
On top of Noorlander’s seven years, the Bozeman man will also spend the following five in probation.
McKay says it’s a punishment she’s been waiting to hear.
“I thought it was fair," McKay says. "He has to pay for what he did and he is and that’s good, you know? It’s a full circle.”
“I’m just glad that’s not going to happen again, it seems, at least hopefully for a while," Wimsat says.
It’s not Noorlander’s first theft.
Court documents show Noorlander had a six-year deferred sentence for several counts of burglary in the past, which is why the Justice Court judge had set his original bail to over half a million dollars.