Written by MARK JAEGER
Wednesday, 16 April 2014 16:15
Police say Saukville break-ins may be part of spree of 160 burglaries
Saukville police are cooperating with Washington County authorities in investigating as many as 160 break-ins in commercial storage sheds over the past several months.
Saukville Police Chief Jeff Goetz provided an update on the apparent crime spree to the village’s Public Safety Committee last week.
Goetz said the most recent break-ins occurred April 5, in storage sheds in the 600 block of Progress Drive. The police report shows 16 units were burglarized.
Among the items taken were an ice auger, cooler and motorcycle helmet.
Last month, the same property was hit in a series of 10 break-ins in which a 12-gauge shotgun, fishing equipment, power tools and weight equipment were stolen.
Similar thefts have been rampant in Washington County, where more than 100 storage units have been broken into. Thefts have been reported in West Bend, Germantown, Hartford and Slinger.
“I would be very surprised if these cases are not related. It is mostly little stuff and high-value items that are being taken, things that can be carried off easily,” Goetz said.
Renters of commercial storage units seldom know who is renting nearby space, making identification difficult.
Based on the reports he has received, the burglaries are being conducted during the day.
“These kinds of storage places rarely have people at them during the day. No one thinks anything of a vehicle driving in and out in a short time,” Goetz said.
“All it takes is a couple minutes for someone with a bolt cutter to get into the units and take what they want.”
Goetz said area authorities are investigating leads and scrutinizing evidence.
“We’ll get the guy,” he told the committee.
Goetz asked residents to call police if they witness suspicious behavior around storage businesses.
“A timely tip like that can help a lot, not having to call the owners of 15 different storage units,” he said.