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Police Blotter: Things You Shouldn't Try to Do

The case of the observant crossing guard, the shocked church crisis worker, and more are found in the reports from the Wauwatosa Police Department.

The Wauwatosa police log from over the weekend contained a list of things you might not want to do.

For starters, don’t open your car door into traffic. You might get a citation for Wisconsin statute 346.94 20 (a), “opening a vehicle on a highway.” (Yes, there is such a statute. Presumably it’s not often used.)

Don’t steal from a store if there’s a uniformed police officer in it.

Don’t call police about your checks being stolen if you tucked them under your own sofa.

Don’t flip off an observant school crossing guard or fall asleep against a light pole in the parkway. Actually, don't be a jerk to crossing guards.

Don’t dial up a church crisis line and complain about a swingers’ party your wife was at — especially if the person answering the phone on the other end to provide advice is an 85-year-church receptionist (Will get back to that one in a minute.)

Actually, really don’t do that one.

And, don't drive the wrong way on Mayfair Road in front of a cop.

Got all that?

Here are the details on those incidents and more, culled from the Wauwatosa Police Department log.

The church crisis line caller

On Sunday, an unknown male caller dialed up a church in the 7700 block of Milwaukee Ave. on a crisis center telephone assistance hotline. The hotline is manned by an 85-year-old church receptionist. The receptionist told police, the male subject “told her a disturbing story of taking his wife to a swingers’ party where she engaged in sexual contact with several” males. Rather than dispensing with advice (such as, what did you think would happen at a swingers’ party?), the receptionist contacted police. They informed her to hang up if the man called again, and call police.

The observant crossing guard

A 63-year-old school crossing guard walked into the police department lobby to report that he had the license plate of a newer vehicle that had intentionally swerved at him twice on Friday morning while he was crossing children at North 73rd Street. and Milwaukee Avenue. The guard had jotted down the car license plate, and a citation was eventually issued.

The guard told police that the driver of the car was a 16- to 17-year-old male who had driven recklessly before, giving the crossing guard the finger as he blew a stop sign. But the crossing guard wasn’t able to get the license plate until Friday.

The wrong way driver

A 21-year-old woman was pulled over for driving her silver Dodge Intrepid on the wrong side of a divided highway in the 3700 block of North Mayfair Road on Saturday at 6:12 p.m. This wasn’t a good idea, for the obvious reasons, but also because a police officer was watching, and she had an open warrant.

According to the police, the officer observed “a group of about 10 vehicles traveling northbound on North Mayfair Road begin to swerve, slam on their brakes and honk their horns to alert the Dodge and avoid a head-on crash.”

At the next median, the woman corrected herself and turned into the southbound lanes. When the officer stopped her, she said she was “confused due to the construction and thought she was supposed to drive southbound in the northbound lanes.”

The woman was arrested on an open warrant from the Glendale Police Department for contempt of court regarding a citation for operating a vehicle with a suspended license. Wauwatosa police issued her two tickets — for driving on the wrong side of a divided highway and operating after suspension.

The untimely opened door

On Sunday at 4:49 p.m., a 20-year-old man was driving a 2012 Mazda hatchback westbound in the 7900 block of West Hillcrest Drive, when he saw a dark blue SUV legally parked on the north side of the street, facing west. As it was a narrow street, the man told police he had to move to the left, crossing the center of the roadway in order to safely avoid the parked vehicle.

However, at that very moment, the SUV driver’s door opened, and the hatchback’s mirror and side doors struck it. The SUV driver, a 21-year-old man, said he had looked behind him before opening the door and didn’t see any vehicles approaching. The edge of his driver’s side door was bent backward. He received a citation for “opening a vehicle on a highway.”

Stealing with a cop in the store

On Saturday at 11:50 p.m., Wauwatosa police arrested a 53-year-old repeat criminal on probation for retail theft for shoving bottles of lotion and air fresheners into his clothes at the at 2656 Wauwatosa Ave. The kicker: A uniformed, on-duty Milwaukee police officer had just stopped in the store to buy a beverage.

He called Wauwatosa police, who arrested the man for retail theft and an outstanding warrant. When the Wauwatosa officer arrived, the MPD officer had the suspect in custody and was waiting at the scene.

The Milwaukee officer was in the store to buy a beverage when an employee informed him the suspect was concealing store merchandise. The Milwaukee officer confronted the suspect, who eventually admitted the theft, removing merchandise from a waist-line area of his pants concealed by a T-shirt, according to the police report.

The store employee told Wauwatosa officers that she had witnessed the man concealing a bottle of lotion under his shirt. She had suspected him of stealing before, so she was watching him more closely. She saw him take something and pushed a store alarm. At that very moment, the MPD officer approached her cashier’s station.

Recovered merchandise totaled $45.45 and included Air Wick mini air fresheners with kit and Gold Bond body lotion and spray.

The man had a warrant with Wauwatosa police for an operating-after-revocation offense and had prior retail theft arrests since 1995. He also had four criminal misdemeanor cases in the past five years, including retail theft (the last offense was on March 8) and cocaine possession, in addition to three prior failure to appear bail jumping incidents. As he was on probation for retail theft, police called the state Department of Corrections but were told Corrections couldn’t hold the man for such an offense.

The man was referred to the Milwaukee County District Attorney’s office for potential charges of misdemeanor retail theft and habitual criminality.

Don’t sleep in the park

Police were called on Sunday at 5:51 a.m. to check the welfare of a person sleeping against a light pole in Hart Park.

It turned out to be a 22-year-old woman who told them she was walking to her home in Greenfield after hanging out with friends at Pride Fest on Saturday. She was walking through the Menomonee River Parkway when she “got tired and decided to go to sleep.” She decided to sleep in the parkway so she “wouldn’t get harassed.” Police moved on because the woman seemed in good health. But a short time later, they received other calls that she was bothering people. They responded again and drove her home.

More from the police files

  • A 41-year-old woman reported a hit-and-run crash at , 1800 Swan. Blvd. She said she had parked her black 2004 Infiniti G35 at 10:15 a.m. Sunday in a parking stall three rows west of the pool. The striking vehicle apparently backed into her car. There are no leads.
  • A 43-year-old man left his garage door open between 10 p.m. Saturday and 6 a.m. Sunday, and someone entered it and removed items. Stolen were a GPS unit, a GAP credit card, and an unknown brand phone charger. The burglar even stole a men’s Trek hybrid from the garage rafters.

The thief did drop a digital Gap watch in the garage. It was only worth $20, hardly enough to make up the difference.

  • A woman called police on Sunday to report that someone was taking her checks. Police found the checkbooks hidden in her couch in the 12000 block of West North Ave. and contacted a relative to get her help for mental health issues.
  • On Sunday, police responded to a call of an intoxicated man yelling at his dog to come in at 1:22 a.m. in the 10400 block of West Woodward Ave.
  • On Saturday, a man approached a homeowner in the 1000 block of North 122nd Street, and said he could seal his driveway for a certain amount of money. The man said he wanted to make a phone call, and the suspect drove off.
  • On Friday afternoon, an unknown woman walked into , 2500 N. Mayfair Rd., with a small child. She proceeded to swipe $1,005 worth of sunglasses before walking out of the store. A clerk observed the woman walk with the child to the sunglass tower and conceal in her purse Roxy Lady, Crystal Voyage, Sabrine, Selene, and Asone sunglasses, valued at between $70-$100 each. The woman would put on sunglasses if a customer was near her and shoved sunglasses in her purse when she thought no one was watching.
Scott Goebel June 19, 2012 at 02:00 PM
And the Darwin award goes to...

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