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Grown Man Pilfered Dad's Coin Collection for Cigarettes, Complaint Says

Son is charged with entering his parents' home without permission and stealing proof sets to buy smokes.

A 37-year-old Wauwatosa man is facing charges after Wauwatosa police found him in his parents' home against their expressed wishes and in possession of part of his father's coin collection.

Dana James Johnson was charged last Wednesday in Milwaukee County Circuit Court with one count of criminal trespass to a dwelling and one count of attempted theft. If convicted, he faces up to 13½ years in prison and $15,000 in fines.

Wauwatosa police had asked the district attorney for burglary charges.

According to the criminal complaint:

On Sept. 20, a couple living in the 600 block of North 68th Street contacted Wauwatosa police while on vacation because their neighbor had seen someone entering their home. The couple had asked for extra patrols while they were out of town because they didn’t want Johnson in the home. They told police he had a drug problem and had stolen from them before.

While police waited outside the house, Johnson came out and asked what was going on. He first said he lived there, but when police told him he wasn’t allowed on the premises, he admitted he wasn’t supposed to be there.

Officers found a large number of coins in his pants pocket, which were part of a set of new proofs Johnson’s father had bought. Johnson said he didn’t intend to steal anything when he entered the home, but decided to take the coins so he could buy cigarettes.  

He was to have made his initial appearance in court Tuesday.

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