CALEDONIA — 27-year-old Holly Bankenbush faces a felony theft charge for allegedly stealing from her boyfriend’s family and then selling the stolen goods for cash at shops around southeast Wisconsin.
According to the criminal complaint, a sales clerk at Robert Haack Diamonds in Greenfield was suspicious of Bankenbush for “selling items which were believed to be beyond Bankenbush’s economic level.”
Bret Euhlberg owns Robert Haack Diamonds and is used to people coming into his store and selling jewelry for cash. “We actually talk to them and get the story for their item. We write little notes on our buy sheet, and we call our detective saying, ‘hey, come in and take a look at this,’” Euhlberg said.
The criminal complaint says Bankenbush came into the store on multiple occasions, selling different items. “When you come in one at a time, one at a time, that does cause a red flag on our thing because it’s like, why didn’t you sell this before?” Euhlberg said.
When an officer questioned Bankenbush about the items, the complaint says she “admitted the items were stolen” and that “she was trying to raise money for her brother who was having legal troubles and needed to pay fines.”
The complaint indicates Bankenbush and her brother stole numerous pieces of jewelry and money from her boyfriend’s parents. The jewelry included rings and necklaces. Also stolen — an XBox gaming system and two Milwaukee Brewers baseball jerseys.
In all, the list of items allegedly stolen by Bankenbush totals more then $20,000.
Police use a system that has a database containing names, items and other information that can help them quickly determine if something is stolen. It’s a system Euhlberg and his employees are happy to help with. “We’ve helped solve over a half million dollars worth of crimes. Sometimes our little lead here helps solve a lot of crimes, which is phenomenal,” Euhlberg said.
If convicted on the charge, Bankenbush faces up to ten years in prison and up to $25,000 in fines.