Burglary Suspect Caught With Stolen Handicap Hang-Tag
Neighborhood may be a little safer after small-time crook makes big-time mistakes by entering garage – a felony act – and having held on to handicap placard stolen two weeks earlier.
Wauwatosa police played a head game with a burglary suspect Thursday morning, betting he would come back for his car if they pretended to give up the chase.
He bit, and was arrested with evidence that included a handicap hang-tag stolen from an 89-year-old woman.
According to their reports, a resident of the 2100 block of Swan Boulevard reported that he heard his home alarm go off at 1:50 a.m.
He checked the alarm panel, which indicated his garage had been entered. He told officers he went outside and saw that the service door to his garage was ajar, and upon entering, he found a man in the front passenger seat of his van, rummaging through it.
He yelled at the thief, who jumped out, pulled the overhead door opener and ran, taking the homeowner’s GPS unit with him.
Police officers combed the area but were unable to find the suspect. But one officer noticed a car parked on the street about three blocks from the burglary scene that seemed out of place.
In fact, he had canvassed the area just 15 minutes earlier and had noted a state-owned car parked along the street. That stuck in his mind. Now, there was a new car there.
He ran a check and found that it belonged to man from the northeast side of Milwaukee who matched the description given by the victim and who had an extensive criminal background.
West Allis provided the services of a K-9 squad – an officer/handler and police dog, Diesel – who performed an area search without result.
It was decided to clear the area except for one officer in an unmarked car, who would wait to see if the suspect might return after the swarm of officers dispersed.
At 4:25 a.m., he did, and as he began to drive away, officers swooped in to stop him. They soon found evidence warranting an arrest of the 53-year-old suspect.
On the floor of his car they found a GPS unit, two garage door openers, a cell phone, a flashlight, pliers, wire cutters and a pair of black gloves. In the driver’s side sun visor, they found a handicap placard and a Barnes and Noble gift card.
The man also had $13.36 cents in change in his pockets.
There were multiple Milwaukee’s Best beer cans strewn in the car, including one half-full one in the center console, netting him a municipal citation to go along with a request for a felony charge of burglary.
The GPS “home” button displayed an address in the 3200 block of North 91st Street in Milwaukee, and the handicap placard was found to belong to an 89-year-old woman living in the same block.
The handicap placard turned out to have been stolen from her about two weeks earlier.