Wauwatosa residents reported break-ins on Friday, Saturday and Sunday, and two involved burglars who were most likely still on the scene.
In one case, the homeowner and police believe that a burglar or burglars were still in the house when she returned from shopping, but they managed to slip out without being seen.
In another incident, police officers very likely came near to running into one or more perpetrators in the act, but some confusion in the dispatch sent them to a neighboring home.
And in the first of those cases as well as in a third one, neighbors saw highly suspicious behavior just before the burglaries but failed to call police.
Acccording to the reports:
Woman sure she interrupted burglary; police concur
A resident of the 6600 block of Revere Avenue reported that between 1:20 and 2:24 p.m. Sunday, someone broke into her home and stole electronics and jewelry.
The woman said she had gone out grocery shopping, and when she returned, all seemed normal at first except that her dog was whining and acting strangely. Then she walked into the family room and found the television set lying face down on the floor.
Even then, she thought it had just fallen, and she was picking it up when she noticed her laptop computer was missing. Realizing she was the victim of a very recent burglary, she called 911, then grabbed her dog and got back in her car, backing out and waiting on the street for police to arrive.
She told officers she believed the burglar or burglars had still been in the home when she came in and that she had interrupted them in the act; however, she never saw anyone.
Officers cleared the home and then walked through with the owner to determine what was missing. Besides the laptop, a Playstation 3 game system was gone from the family room and another laptop was missing from the study. One iPod Touch was gone from the kitchen and another from a bedroom.
In the master bedroom, several pieces of costume jewelry were gone from two boxes. Drawers and closets had been rummaged through, but nothing appeared to have been taken from them.
Police found that a small basement window had been broken in, and the actor or actors had crawled through. They also believed that whoever committed the burglary was still in the home when the woman arrived, and had snuck out a side door while she was calling police.
Police canvassed the area and spoke to one woman who had seen two unknown men standing in her back yard and looking at the victim’s residence. She offered sketchy descriptions but said she had not been wearing her contacts and could not provide anything further. She did not say why she did not call police or keep the two men under observation.
Wrong address gives perpetrators a pass
A resident of the 7300 block of Portland Avenue learned that between 4:45 and 6:15 p.m. Saturday someone had broken into his house after an alert neighbor noticed his window open and lights on when she believed no one to be home.
Unfortunately, there was some confusion, and officers were sent first to the address of the caller, believing it to be the scene of the crime. One officer noticed a red Pontiac Grand Prix parked down the street, which had disappeared by the time the addresses were straightened out. The car had in fact been parked just beyond the burglarized home.
There, they found a rear window smashed in and a door pried open. A television set was found outside, reinforcing the belief that the burglars had seen police arriving and had abandoned the job.
When the homeowner arrived and did a check with officers, he found he was missing a laptop computer and his iPad.
It was not known at the time the report was filed how the addresses of the caller and the victim were confused between the caller and dispatcher.
Witness sees prowler but fails to report him
A resident of the 2500 block of North 65th Street reported that between 12:30 and 1:58 p.m. Friday someone broke into her house by removing a storm window from a back window and climbing through the unlocked window.
The burglar left by the front door, having taken nothing. A neighbor saw the likely suspect hanging around the victim’s home and even trying the back door, which was locked, but she did not call police.