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Police Reports: Don't Sign the Title 'Til the Cash Is in Hand

Among other incidents, a man picks up a large metal mailbox for scrap, then has second thoughts. He calls to make sure it was discarded. It wasn't, and the quality of mercy is strained.

Trust is good. Misplaced trust will cost you.

At 2:41 p.m. Tuesday, a resident of the 2200 block of North 67th Street reported that his work van had been stolen by a man who came to purchase it for scrap.

The thief persuaded the owner to sign over the title before he took the van for a “test drive,” without handing over any money.

After the stranger failed to return for several minutes, the owner called his cell phone and demanded he bring the van back. The man refused and told him he could “call the cops,” which he did.

Police were unable to contact the man by phone. They alerted scrap yards to be on the lookout for the van.

In other incidents:

Thursday

A Brookfield woman reported that a window was smashed out of her car while it was parked overnight at a residence in the 12000 block of West Locust Street in Wauwatosa. Her purse and its contents were stolen.

Wednesday

At 5:21 p.m., a 19-year-old Milwaukee woman was arrested for retail theft after she was caught trying to steal a photo album worth $25 from at by concealing it in a bag.

Tuesday

At 6:42 p.m., a 47-year-old Milwaukee woman was arrested for retail theft and trespassing after she was caught trying to steal five articles of clothing worth $276 from Macy's. The woman refused to cooperate with a store security officer and tried to leave the mall, and eventually had to be taken to the floor with the aid of two mall security officers. Records showed the woman had been banned from the mall for five years in 2008. She also had 16 theft arrests on her record, including two priors in Wauwatosa. Her case was referred to the District Attorney’s Office.

At 10:46 a.m., a 25-year-old Wauwatosa woman was arrested for driving under the influence of drugs after she caused an accident in the 6900 block of West Wisconsin Avenue. The woman drove into the back of a parked pickup truck and an officer arrived to find her pacing the sidewalk and crying. She couldn’t give basic information and or keep a straight thought, the officer said, and he began to suspect she was high. Both a used crack pipe and a used marijuana pipe were found in her purse, along with a small amount of what appeared to be marijuana. She was taken to Froedtert Hospital where a sobriety test was administered. She failed on at least two counts, by being unable to properly track an object with her eyes and by singing the alphabet against instructions. A blood sample was taken for testing. The woman also did not have insurance or a valid driver’s license.

A Two Rivers woman reported that between 2:30 and 4 p.m. someone entered her car and stole her purse while she was at Mayfair Mall. She said she had locked her car electronically but then remembered she needed her debit card. She unlocked a door with a key and believes she failed to relock it. Two unauthorized purchases were made with her credit card before she could cancel it.

Monday

At 5:09 p.m., a 20-year-old Hartland man was arrested for battery after he got into a fight with his former girlfriend in the parking lot of the at Mayfair Mall. He was reported by a store employee who saw him striking her. She had tried to call police but he took away her phone, and when she headed toward the store he grabbed her, picked her up and carried her back to her car and shoved her inside.

At 4:48 p.m., a 24-year-old Wauwatosa man was arrested for forgery and attempting to obtain a controlled substance by fraud at the . after he was caught trying to buy Oxycodone with a phony prescription. Police searched him and found he was carrying marijuana and a pipe, so he was arrested for drug and paraphernalia possession as well.

At 2:23 p.m., two Milwaukee girls, 16 and 17 years old, were arrested for trespassing at Mayfair Mall after they were recognized as individuals who had been banned for retail thefts. The 16-year-old had been arrested and banned for five years in October; the 17-year-old had been arrested and banned for five years on April 30.

A 45-year-old Milwaukee man was arrested for theft after he called Supportive Homecare Options, 7400 Harwood Ave., to say that he had taken away a large, U.S. Postal Service-size mailbox on Sunday, thinking it was put out garbage, and then thought he should call and make sure they didn’t want it. It was the company's private box for employees' mail and time sheets. The company did want it, and despite the man's forthcomingness, it also wanted to press charges for theft. 

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