Muskego — Tables and tables of stolen property, much of it related to the suspected area-wide crime spree of an Oak creek woman, awaits its owners at the Muskego Police Station.
The woman, 29, now in the Walworth County Jail has been charged in connection to residential burglaries in East Troy. Police there discovered property in her car that they believed was stolen from other communities, said Muskego Police Detective Steve Westphal. The stolen property included a purse stolen that contained a Muskego drivers license, he said.
Westphal went to the woman's home and confiscated even more property.
"Her mother turned over numerous items not belonging to her and believed to be stolen," Westphal said.
Police are investigating whether the suspected thief had any accomplices. They also are looking into whether the thefts were drug related, Westphal said. The woman was listed as unemployed.
The Muskego thefts happened Dec. 26 and 27 in the southwest part of the city, he said. Muskego has completed its investigation and has referred the case to the Waukesha County District Attorney's Office where charges are pending. Investigations are ongoing in the other counties.
Her arrest may have cleared up thefts and burglaries in Milwaukee, Waukesha, Walworth, Washington, Ozaukee, Kenosha and Racine counties, he said. The investigation has gone back to September, Westphal said.
The unclaimed stolen property doesn't include any big-ticket items such as computers or televisions, he said. Theft victims from Kenosha and Racine counties, West Bend, Mequon and Oak Creek have claimed such property as a drill, cosmetics and knives, he said.
The process of claiming property starts with theft and burglary victims contacting their local police who will make arrangements with the Muskego Police Department. Muskego residents can contact Westphal at 262-679-5652 or community resource Officer Mike Rakers at 262-679-5653.
Even though hundreds of items were recovered, Muskego police actually scored a bigger haul of stolen property a year and a half ago, Westphal said. That was when they arrested a man and his girlfriend of stealing property when families were away at funerals, he said. Like the Oak Creek woman, the couple stole property from all over, Westphal said. Both were convicted.
Westphal said he hopes residents heed advice that Muskego and many police departments give to keep their property and homes safe. Valuables should be out of sight in vehicles and the doors locked, he said. Garage doors should be locked as should the door leading from the garage to the house, he said.