A couple of crooks started off the holiday season in a decidedly Grinch-like way, one of them stealing a woman's Christmas tree and the other breaking into the area offices of Habitat for Humanity.
At 11:43 a.m. Sunday, a resident of the 2600 block of North 91st Street reported that her artificial Christmas tree had been stolen off her back patio where she had set it up for the season. She said she had put up the tree Wednesday and then left town for Thanksgiving, returning Sunday to find her $150 tree gone.
At 1:29 a.m. Thursday – Thanksgiving morning – police were called to answer a burglar alarm at Milwaukee Habitat for Humanity, 3015 N. 114th St. Video surveillance footage showed a man entering a door that was not equipped with an alarm but then setting off an office alarm and fleeing. A Habitat manager said she had fired three workers about a week before and thought the suspect in the video was one of them. Nothing was taken in the burglary.
In other incidents during the past week:
At 9 a.m., a resident of the 1200 block of North 68th Street reported considerable vandalism to her home and two cars, which she believed was caused by a former boyfriend with whom she had had an altercation. Several windows in her house were broken and all four tires had been slashed on her car. The windshield of that and another car had also been smashed. Damage totaled an estimated $1,500.
Police arrested an 18-year-old Wauwatosa man who had been living with his parents in the 2300 block of North 65th Street after they reported that he had stolen his mother’s wedding band and another gold ring to buy drugs. They said that over the past two years their son had stolen thousands of dollars worth of their property, none of which they had reported, but the loss of the wedding ring was the last straw.
At 4:40 p.m., a security officer at , 4100 N. 124th St., reported that an unknown suspect had stolen a power saw worth $99. The man had been seen concealing the saw in his clothing but ignored the security officer’s efforts to detain him and had run to his car and fled.
At 3:17 p.m., a Racine man reported that someone had broken into his car by smashing out a window and stealing his coat and backpack containing books while he was at Bowlero, 11737 W. Burleigh St.
At 2:50 p.m., a 41-year-old Milwaukee man was arrested for theft after he fled from security officers at , 6950 W. State St., when they tried to detain him for stealing a bottle of liquor. The man was arrested after an accomplice raced off in a car without him.
At 2:21 p.m., a 22-year-old Milwaukee man reported that some time during the day someone had stolen his $3,200 Apple laptop computer and his $700 iPad from his backpack either while he was at work at the store or at the food court at . When he noticed them missing he went to the and had the devices locked. He also sent a message to the iPad including his phone number and soon received a call from a man posing as a Milwaukee police officer asking for his password.
Police were seeking a known suspect – a 21-year-old Milwaukee woman – who left the store at Mayfair Mall at 9:30 p.m. without paying for a $168 pair of jeans.
At 5:30 p.m., a resident of the 9600 block of Palmetto Avenue reported that his lawn mower had been stolen from his detached garage some time since Wednesday afternoon. He did not say whether he thought the garage had been locked but police found no signs of forced entry.
At 3:24 p.m., a 16-year-old Milwaukee girl was arrested for theft at in Mayfair Mall, her third offense, after she was caught trying to leave the store with clothing concealed in a large purse. She also was carrying a device used for removing security sensor tags from merchandise.
At 3:22 p.m., a Wauwatosa woman reported that some time in the past hour someone had smashed the passenger window of her car and stolen her purse while she was at the , 2420 N. 124th St.
At 11:33 a.m., a 17-year-old Wauwatosa girl and three Milwaukee girls, two 16 and one 17, were arrested for disorderly conduct after they got into a fight in the center court of Mayfair Mall on the busiest shopping day of the year.
Police were seeking an 18-year-old Milwaukee woman after she tried to steal $526 worth of clothing from at Mayfair Mall at 10:15 a.m. The woman dropped the bag of clothing and her purse, containing her identification, and fled when store security officers tried to detain her.
At 9:38 a.m., a 27-year-old Milwaukee woman and a 15-year-old Milwaukee girl were arrested for theft after they were seen stealing merchandise from Macy’s at Mayfair Mall. The woman was detained at the store, but the teenager fled and was seen entering the , 2525 N. Mayfair Rd. Macy’s officers watched the doors until police arrived. The girl refused to halt for an officer, who chased her down, falling and slightly injuring himself in the process. The girl was also arrested for resisting arrest.
At 3 a.m., an 18-year-old Milwaukee man was arrested for theft at Boston Store at Mayfair Mall after he was seen trying to leave the store with jewelry items concealed in his jacket.
At 5:14 p.m., a 65-year-old Wauwatosa man was served with two temporary restraining orders at his home in the 4400 block of Glenway Street after he threatened to again pepper spray a man who was visiting his aunt next door. The man had recently been arrested for pepper spraying the woman’s nephew when he parked his car in front of the suspect’s house because the curb in front of his aunt’s house was blocked by piles of leaves.
At 2:46 a.m., police were sent to the 1300 block of St. James Court on a report of a fight involving as many as 10 people. Officers found a large number of people milling around outside a duplex where a drinking party had been going on, but the trouble all stemmed from one guest who had “freaked out” and, upon being asked to leave, had attacked two cars belonging to other guests with a large steel construction barricade. The suspect was found walking nearby and was arrested for criminal damage to property.
At 1:56 p.m., police arrested an employee of Boston Store at Mayfair Mall for theft after store security became suspicious of her and observed her making a fraudulent sale on Tuesday. The 24-year-old Milwaukee woman had removed security sensors and bagged a T-shirt and three dresses for a customer but had rung up only the shirt. She told police that she owed the other woman money for babysitting and was letting her have the dresses as payment.
At 1:15 p.m., two women eluded store security at , 8616 W. North Ave., and made off with three 1.75-liter bottles of Absolut vodka worth $104.97. The two are unknown but are suspects in multiple liquor thefts from Sendik’s and other stores.
At 3:45 p.m., a resident of the 300 block of North 71st Street reported that some time the night before someone had entered her open garage and stolen a bicycle and several items from her sister’s car.
At 6:15 p.m., a resident of the 500 block of North 64th Street reported that someone had broken both the outer and inner panes of his living room window by throwing a pumpkin through them. He had been in his kitchen, he said, when he heard a crash. He saw a vehicle driving away but could give no description of it.
At 5:20 p.m., two Milwaukee women, one 18 and one 19, were arrested for theft at Mayfair Mall after they were seen concealing merchandise at the store and when searched were found to have stolen items from several other stores as well.
At 2:14 p.m., a Slinger woman reported that the window of her car had been smashed and her purse stolen while she was at , 10950 W. Potter Rd.
At 4:40 p.m., a resident of the 900 block of North 115th Street reported that someone had earlier stolen her purse while she was at work and that when she returned home she found the back door broken in. She said there were a number of documents with her address in the purse. She found nothing missing from the home.
At 4:21 p.m., a 31-year-old West Allis man was arrested for possession of heroin paraphernalia and his companion, a 30-year-old Milwaukee man, was arrested for obstruction after they were investigated for acting suspiciously at . The two men appeared to have been trying to make fraudulent returns at the store.