Derek Leroy Steindorf

Derek Leroy Steindorf, 41, appears via video in Gallatin County Justice Court on Friday. 

Bail was set at $50,000 for a Belgrade man accused of breaking into his ex-girlfriend’s house to get money she allegedly owed him and grabbing her to prevent her from leaving.

Derek Leroy Steindorf, 41, was arrested Thursday and charged with felony aggravated burglary and felony aggravated kidnapping. Steindorf appeared via video Friday in Gallatin County Justice Court before Judge Bryan Adams.

According to charging documents:

Around 2:45 p.m., officers responded to a report of an assault at a Bozeman home. Officers opened a garage door and a woman got out from underneath a car and ran toward officers.

An officer noted the woman had red marks on her arms, bruising on her knees, and dirt on her face, pants and shoes from crawling under the car.

The woman told officers she was unaware if her ex-boyfriend, later identified as Steindorf, was still in the house. Officers searched the home and saw a laptop and other things on the floor, and a desk with several checks thrown on it. They were unable to find Steindorf.

The woman said she entered her home through the garage, carrying bags of groceries, and saw Steindorf standing inside. He charged at her.

She said she ran to her office to call 911. When they got there, the woman said, Steindorf forced her to write a check to him. Steindorf grabbed her arms, and she said she was screaming and struggling.

She wrote the check, threw it at him and tried running out the front door for help, but Steindorf grabbed her.

The woman said she hit Steindorf in the face with the palm of her hand and ran to the garage. Steindorf followed and pinned her against the hood of her car, and then threw her to the ground, she said.

The woman said she was able to crawl under the car. Steindorf was trying to pull her out, so she said she coiled up to get out of his reach. She called 911 while under the car and remained hiding until officers came.

From under the car she saw Steindorf go back inside the house but wasn’t sure if he had left, the woman said.

The woman said she didn’t see Steindorf’s car parked near her house. She said she believed he used the back door to get in and out of the house because it was left unlocked.

While officers were interviewing the woman, Steindorf sent her a text message, which showed officers his location. She also showed officers messages from days prior where she told him to stay away from her home.

An officer called Steindorf and he was later arrested.

Steindorf admitted he let himself into the woman’s house, and alleged she invited him over a day or two prior to get a check for the money he said she owed him. He said the woman gave him permission to enter through the back door and wait for her to get home.

Steindorf alleged she punched him in the face for no reason. He admitted he took the phone from her because he “didn’t want the cops involved,” and said the woman threw a laptop at him while she was writing him a check.

He said the woman crawled under the car and called 911 before he left.

Freddy Monares can be reached at or 406-582-2630. Follow him on Twitter @TGIFreddy.