Police Report: Thieves Get Personal at Church, Tosa Public Library
Also, the weekend was marred by four drunken driving incidents and several burglaries.
In separate and unrelated incidents, thieves invaded the space of leaders at two Tosa institutions, a church and the publice library, to steal personal belongings. In each case, they preyed on trust and betrayed it.
At 4:44 p.m. Saturday, the husband and wife pastors of Calvary United Methodist Church, 7265 W. Center St., reported that her wallet had been stolen by a man who had stopped in to inquire about the times of services. He was given the information, offered a snack and left in the lobby to eat it.
Moments later, the husband heard the front door slam. He found the snack unfinished, and his wife found her wallet missing from her coat, which had been hanging just inside the church office. He was seen making his escape on a bicycle.
A man of similar description on a bike was reported panhandling in the parking lot at St. Pius X Parish, 2520 Wauwatosa Ave., but had disappeared by the time police arrived.
The suspect is a dark-skinned black man, about 6 feet tall, 30 to 40 years old, of average build and with a slight limp. He was also described as having “messy, shaggy hair.” Police believe they know his identity from several other recent incidents.
At 11:30 a.m. Friday, a member of the staff of the Wauwatosa Public Library reported that she had encountered a stranger leaving her office and soon discovered that her credit cards had been stolen from her purse.
She said she had been helping a patron when she saw the man coming out of her office and closing the door. She asked what he was doing, and he said he was looking for someone to help him about a lost library card. He gave a name, and she found nothing, so he left.
She then checked her office and found her cards gone. Before she could cancel them, one had already been used at a gas station.
Her description and video images show a black man, 6-feet, 3-inches tall, about 265 pounds, 35 to 45 years old, wearing a black leather jacket at the time.
Police believe they have identified the suspect as a man who stole an iPod on Saturday from a car parked in the 2300 block of North 70th Street and then opened an iTunes account for it. If he was using his real name on the account, as they believe, he is a known suspect with a closely matching description: a 39-year-old black man standing 6-foot-4 and weighing 243 pounds.
In other incidents:
At 2:23 p.m., a 34-year-old West Allis woman was arrested for retail theft after she tried to leave Pick ‘n Save, 6950 W. State St., with $55.42 worth of merchandise hidden in her purse.
At 7:30 a.m., a burglary was reported at Alpha Neonz Sign and Lighting, 11607 W. Dearbourn Ave. An employee had unlocked the front door and then found the rear door ajar. Two 50-inch televisions and a desktop computer were stolen, totaling $5,500 in value. The business had been locked since 6 p.m. Friday, and police could find no signs of forced entry.
At 1:25 a.m. Sunday, a 54-year-old Wauwatosa man was arrested for drunken driving, second offense, after a patrol officer stopped him for speeding and running a red light at Glenview and Harwood avenues. The officer found the driver to be obviously intoxicated, and when asked for his license the man said, “Just take me to jail.” He refused a breath test and was taken to Wisconsin Heart Hospital for a mandatory blood draw.
At 1:30 p.m., two 17-year-old Milwaukee boys were arrested for theft at Macy’s at Mayfair Mall after they were seen trying to steal three pairs of jeans worth $180 together. One of the boys was seen taking the jeans to the other, who uses a wheelchair. The jeans were put in and under a bag in his lap. His mother, with whom they were shopping, wheeled him out before they were detained. She said she was unaware of her son’s attempt at theft, and the other boy said he should be the only one blamed because he had put the other boy up to it.
At 8:08 a.m. Saturday, a 30-year-old Milwaukee man was arrested for drunken driving, first offense, after a minor traffic accident in the parking lot of McDonald’s, 6631 W. North Ave. The man ran into the back of another car in the drive-through lane, and although he gave the driver his insurance information and phone number, he left the scene when she said she was going to call police. Officers quickly found him at home, still highly intoxicated after a night of drinking. His blood alcohol level was registered at .21 in a breath test.
At 10:18 p.m., police were called to investigate a burglary at a home in the 2500 block of North 66th Street. The homeowner said he had left at about 3:45 p.m., and when he returned about 10 p.m. he found a bedroom window wide open. He found that he was missing two television sets worth about $800.
At 10:15 p.m., police were called to investigate another home burglary nearby, in the 2500 block of North 71st St. In this case, the homeowner had returned to find the back door broken in and the window in it shattered. Drawers throughout the home had been opened and rummaged through, but the only items stolen were a gold-plated wristwatch and $3 worth of pennies that were in a coffee can.
At 7:01 p.m., a 51-year-old Milwaukee man was arrested for drunken driving, first offense, during the investigation of a minor traffic accident at Speedway, 6804 W. North Ave. He backed into another car at the gas station, and the driver of that car said there was no damage, but when he spoke to the other man he noticed a strong smell of alcohol about him and felt he should call police out of concern for the safety of others. The driver performed poorly on a sobriety test and registered a .12 BAC.
At 6:40 p.m., a resident reported having seen six teenagers, three boys and three girls all about 14 or 15 years old, spray-painting graffiti on the walls of Washington Elementary School, 2166 N. 68th St. He did not feel he should call 911 and did not know the non-emergency number (471-8430), so he did not call until he got home and looked it up. By the time officers arrived, the suspects could not be found.
A 15-year-old Milwaukee boy and a 17-year-old Wauwatosa girl were each cited separately for habitual truancy from Wauwatosa West High School. The boy had been absent on all or part of 21 school days this semester, the girl on 13 occasions.
A 46-year-old man was arrested for drunken driving, first offense, after officers were called at 10:36 a.m. to the scene of a hit and run accident and found a Chrysler Concorde emblem that had broken off the striking car. The car was soon located, and the driver was already safely in the back of a Milwaukee Police patrol car for running a red light. He performed poorly on a field test and blew a .15 BAC.
At 10 a.m., police went to a home in the 9900 block of West North Avenue to take a report from an 81-year-old woman who realized she had been defrauded out of $3,100 by scam artists who called her claiming she had won $2.5 million in a lottery but needed to wire cash to receive her winnings.