Police Reports: Desperate Man Steals Mouthwash to Get a Buzz

Young South Milwaukeean tells officers his alcoholism, for which he was in rehabilitation, got the better of him.

A young man troubled by alcoholism stole two bottles of mouthwash Friday from a Wauwatosa supermarket and quickly downed one of them to take the edge off his uncontrollable urge to drink.

At 3:25 p.m., police arrested a 23-year-old South Milwaukee man for retail theft after he ran away from , 6700 W. State St., with two half-liter bottles of Listerine mouthwash.

A store security officer said he had seen the man taking the mouthwash and tried to stop him as he left the store, but he ran. He had crossed West State Street and the railroad tracks into Hart Park, the employee said, and then just sat down on the ground.

Police officers found him there and learned that just while crossing the street and the tracks, the man had downed one entire bottle of Listerine. He said he was in rehabilitation for alcoholism and stole the mouthwash for its alcohol content because of a powerful urge to drink.

He was held for the Oak Creek Police on a warrant for disorderly conduct there.

According to The Straight Dope website, Listerine contains 26.9 percent specially denatured ethanol, which will cause intoxication but also can be dangerous if drunk in large quantities because of the alcohol's effects in combination with other ingredients of the product.

In other recent incidents:


At 12:54 a.m., police were called to , 11811 Blue Mound Rd., on a report of a fight in the parking lot, and when the dust settled they arrested a 40-year-old Milwaukee man for battery and a 38-year-old Milwaukee woman for disorderly conduct. According to reports, a group of friends and relatives visiting Milwaukee for a Brewers game were playing bean bag toss in the parking lot when the man and woman from Milwaukee came out of the motel and went to their cars, parked side by side. Some of the game pieces were blocking their exit, and the Milwaukee woman began to berate the out-of-towners to “get their (expletive) out of the way.” When they didn’t move fast enough, the Milwaukee man struck a woman from Phillips, Wis., in the face. He was then set upon by her male companions and knocked to the ground. When they did leave, the Milwaukee woman backed her car over a picnic cooler and one of the bean bag boards.


Police were called to a home in the 4700 block of North 100th Street on a report that some time overnight someone had stolen 12 decorative and 15 plain concrete blocks that had been stacked in the yard awaiting installation.


At 9:45 p.m., police discovered vandalism when they were called to the Rotary Performance Pavilion in on a report that someone had left a cooler full of alcoholic beverages in the unisex bathroom backstage. Police found the cooler clearly marked “Tosa Tonight Rotary Performance Pavilion Backstage,” and determined that it was right where it was supposed to be. However, when an officer tried to shut and lock the door, he discovered that it wouldn’t work, and only then noticed that the door had been forced open with a prying tool, damaging the lock. A park employee told them the door had been secured at last check at 4:30 p.m.

At 5:45 p.m., police arrested an 18-year-old Milwaukee man who worked at , 3201 N. Mayfair Rd., on two counts of theft after store security determined that he had been stealing food and a variety of returned merchandise and had been loading his own “store points” account with points from transactions with customers.

A Greenfield woman reported that some time between 12:10 and 1 p.m., while she was at , someone broke into her car by smashing out a window and stole her wallet. While answering that call police noticed that the car parked next to hers had also been broken into by punching out the driver’s lock. It turned out to belong to an Oregon, Wis., woman, who found she was missing her backpack and contents including her iPhone, iPod, two handheld Nintendo game systems and games and her wallet, containing cash and credit cards. Both women’s credit cards were used at various locations in Milwaukee before they could cancel them.

A resident of the 1300 block of North 60th Street reported that some time between 4 p.m. Wednesday and 4 p.m. Thursday someone had stolen four bicycles, along with two helmets and three locks, from outside his home. An old, rusty mountain bike with no brakes had been left in their place.

Last Thursday

An employee of the Dollar Tree store, 2851 N. Mayfair Rd., reported that between 4:30 and 8 p.m., while she was at work, someone smashed a window out of her car in the parking lot and stole a small amount of cash from the center console.

A Franklin woman lost her iPod and her iPhone charger and a Milwaukee man lost his backpack when both their cars were broken into at the , 2420 N. 124th St. Windows were smashed out of both cars, and it appeared the deeds were done some time between 5:30 and 7 p.m. The Milwaukee man said there had been nothing of value in his backpack.

At 1:34 p.m., two Eau Claire women, one 20 and one 24, were arrested for theft at at after they were caught trying to steal several hundred dollars worth of women’s intimate apparel and infants’ and children’s clothing.

A resident of the 2500 block of North 91st Street reported that overnight someone stole her GPS unit out of her car, which was unlocked in her driveway.

At 1:25 p.m., a cashier at , 1525 N. 68th St., reported that an unknown man had just made off with an unknown shop tool from the store. He said the man had entered the store and walked straight to aisle 2, returning almost immediately with a large box. He asked what the price was, but without waiting for an answer he walked out the door with it. The cashier said he followed and saw the suspect climb into the back seat of a black Toyota SUV. He said the man smiled at him as he got in. The cashier was unable to read the license number. He described the thief as black, 25 to 30 years old, 6-feet 4- to 5-inches tall, 250 pounds, with short black hair and wearing black pants and shirt. The cashier did not know for sure what tool was in the box but thought it might have been either a $300 chop saw or a $200 bench grinder. Police said video footage was not of good enough quality to get an image of the suspect’s face.


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