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Burglar Hits Home in Highlands, Another Foiled in East Tosa

A resident in the Washington Highlands sleeps through home invasion and car theft, but another to the north happens to be awake – and armed.

One burglar made off with both of a homeowners' TV sets and his minivan in the Washington Highlands, and another was chased off when he picked a wakeful smoker in East Tosa as his victim.

A resident of the 2000 block of Martha Washington Drive reported Wednesday that while he slept, someone had burglarized his home and stolen two television sets.

Only after police began interviewing him and asked about any vehicles he might own did he realize that his 2005 Ford minivan had also been stolen, with his keys taken from a rack in his hallway.

The victim, 76, said he lives alone and had gone to bed about 9 p.m. and awakened at 5 a.m. He came downstairs and found a light on in his den and then saw that a large casement window was wide open with the screen cut from top to bottom.

He said that he had left the window slightly open, so other than cutting the screen, no force was needed; however, a burglar would have had to manipulate the crank on the window to open it further. That and other surfaces were checked for fingerprints and swabbed for DNA.

A neighborhood canvas found one neighbor who apparently had unknowingly witnessed the crime in progress. He said he had gone out for a run at 4:30 a.m. and noticed a minivan in the victim’s driveway with its lights on and engine running. He thought it was the homeowner going on an early outing and thought nothing of it.

Resident takes up arms before calling police

At 11:40 p.m. Thursday, a resident of the 2300 block of North 66th Street reported that someone had just attempted to break into his home.

While the first officer to was still on his way to the “burglary in progress” call, he was told by dispatchers that actually, 15 minutes had passed since the caller’s encounter while he had taken a gun and searched his property before calling 911.

When the officer arrived, the resident told him that he had been in his attic smoking a cigarette with his window open when he heard a “pop” sound from below. He called out, “Hello?” and then heard rustling in the bushes in front of his house.

He pointed out a downstairs window that was open a crack and said that it had been closed and locked from the inside before the incident. He believed that a burglar had used some kind of tool to pry the window, and the pop he heard was the lock giving way.

Police investigated and found no damage and no evidence, and an area search by that time came up empty.

pupdog1 September 16, 2012 at 06:45 PM
That's a dangerous game in a place where the official state religion involves dressing up in fluorescent orange and shooting stuff.
Jim Price September 16, 2012 at 09:34 PM
Yep, it is, pup. The homeowner certainly has the right to armed defense on his property, and anybody who decides on breaking and entering as a career choice in Wisconsin is taking his chances. But this homeowner's decision to clear the property himself before calling police might have cost the community an arrest. After 15 minutes, the perp was long gone, like a turkey in the corn. Even if you legally own a weapon and choose to wield it, you should still call 911 immediately. He and the perp are both lucky the belated 911 call wasn't for an ambulance.

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