Wauwatosa citizens were witnesses to two burglaries in progress during the week, which fortunately resulted in no violence but unfortunately did not yield any arrests – yet.
In one case, an unsuspecting resident arrived home just minutes after his neighbor called police to say that the man's home was being broken into and that he had seen the perpetrators.
The burglars had just fled into the night and could not be found. They did, however, leave copious amounts of evidence behind, including fingerprints, blood, a half-sucked lollipop and a false eyelash.
In a second incident, a young man heard a noise from his parents' garage and actually spoke to the burglar he found inside.
The perpetrator gave him no more than a look, though, and fled on a bicycle.
A field day for detectives and the Crime Lab
At 1:20 a.m. Tuesday, a resident of the 3200 block of North 104th Street called police to report a possible burglary in progress at a neighbor’s home on 105th Street.
He said that that he had first been awakened at 12:38 a.m. by loud noises from the neighbor’s property, which he described as sounding like a large bag of ice cubes being repeatedly dropped on pavement. That was, in fact, what he thought was going on, so he paid no attention.
Later, though, he heard more noise, this time definitely the sounds of something being pried open and then of breaking glass.
He looked out to see what he described as three dark figures running from his neighbor’s yard, and then two of them running back toward it. He then saw the taillights of a car driving off down his street.
Because it was dark and he was some distance away, he was unable to give any description of either the suspects or the car.
When arrived, they found that the owner had just then gotten home and discovered the burglary himself.
Officers found a large window smashed in a breezeway room between the kitchen and garage that was used as a family entertainment room. Missing from the room were two video game systems, a DVD player/stereo receiver and a laptop computer.
The burglars did not enter any other rooms in the home. The outer pane of a double-hung window in the kitchen was also smashed, but the inner pane was intact.
Police found smeared blood and fingerprints on a dozen surfaces throughout the room, on shards of broken glass inside and out, and even on the neighbor’s garage.
They also found a half-consumed lollipop on the street where the car had been parked and one false eyelash in the breezeway room that did not belong to anyone at the home.
Young man meets up with intruder
At 3:47 p.m. Thursday, a 23-year-old resident of the 8800 block of Stickney Avenue called police to report an encounter with a burglar in his parents’ garage that had occurred a few minutes earlier.
He said he was just leaving the house when he heard noise in the home’s attached rear garage and noticed the service door was half-open. He said he could see that someone was inside, so he said, “Hello?”
A man walked out, gave him “a weird look” and got on a bicycle he had left under a bush. He rode off down the alley, went east on Stickney and was last seen going north on Ludington Avenue.
The witness’ mother said that the garage is left unlocked and the outside service door had been left ajar a couple of inches that day so that she could run a hose under it. Nothing appeared to have been taken.
The young man described the suspect as a black man between 20 and 30 years old with a medium build and with his hair in long black dreadlocks. He was shirtless at the time, wearing dark sunglasses and was riding a bright red mountain bike, possibly a Trek.
Police searched the area but did not spot the man.