Police believe that in a crude but effective way, very likely the same known man has managed to carry out multiple cash register robberies at area drug stores over the past two years – getting caught at least once, but usually getting away.
If it is the same subject, he did it again Friday night at a Wauwatosa Walgreen's, walking in like a customer, creeping behind an unattended counter, prying open a cash drawer and grabbing fistfulls of money before making a getaway.
At 9:06 p.m. Friday, police were called to the Walgreen’s store at 2656 Wauwatosa Ave. on a reported theft of cash. A cashier had found the register drawer at the cosmetics counter standing open, damaged, and missing money. She called over a manager, she said, who immediately called police.
A review of store video showed a man entering the store at 8:48 p.m. and then a couple of minutes later crawling on hands and knees behind the counter. Using some type of shiny tool, he reached up and pried open the cash drawer.
He took cash first from the drawer, then lifted the drawer and grabbed more money from underneath it. Then he stood up, undetected, and walked out.
Police searched the area, but found no sign of the thief. They then began seeking a known suspect after several detectives and officers recalled highly similar incidents in 2011 at several area Walgreen’s stores, including one that had been carried out in precisely the same way at the same store.
In one case they were aware of, the suspect had been caught with stolen cash and an 8-inch silver and black pry bar.
The Wauwatosa Avenue Walgreen's manager said also that similar methods had been used in two thefts in just the past week at northwest side Milwaukee Walgreen’s stores.