A rash of brazen burglaries that hit the northwest part of Wauwatosa stopped abruptly with the arrest of four suspects on Sept. 11.
Now, in the same area, another break-in with similar earmarks leads one to wonder whether it's a coincidence, or were there others involved in those earlier incidents who have just lain low after their colleagues in crime were busted?
The modus operandi: A crude forced entry, an even cruder treatment of the premises once inside, and a taste for stealing everything from high-end electronics down to pieces of clothing.
Police reports detail the latest episode:
A resident of an apartment in the 4300 block of North 94th Street reported Saturday that overnight, while she was not at home, someone had broken in and stolen two televisions and other property including three pairs of jeans.
She told officers she had left at about 9:40 p.m. Friday and returned at 7:45 a.m. Saturday to pick up some things. When she came in through the hallway entrance, she said, she found her two couches upended in the living room and the whole place ransacked.
She was missing two large flat-screen TVs, one 54 inches and the other 46, and every room had been rummaged through. She called police.
Officers found that the handle to an exterior bedroom door had been pried off, and then a large rock was thrown through the window in the interior door. The handle had also been wrenched off a patio door, apparently in a first attempt to break in.
Drawers and cabinets were opened throughout the apartment, and in the bedroom, the dresser drawers were pulled out and the contents strewn on the floor.
Besides the two TVs, the woman and her boyfriend, who was planning to move in soon and had much of his property there, were missing an Xbox game system, an Apple iPad2, and three pairs of his Rock Revival jeans.
The four teenagers arrested a month ago and charged in a spate of similar burglaries in the area had used similar methods: Smashing their way in and then tearing places apart for anything of any value, high or low.
Police reports did not say whether anything of evidenciary value was recovered from the scene of Saturday's burglary.