Burglary suspect nabbed with bait car appears in court

This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

MILWAUKEE (WITI) -- Christmas has passed. But Milwaukee police say "Operation Secret Santa" won't be over until one Milwaukee man is sentenced.

30-year-old Jonathan Ferrer pleaded guilty on Tuesday, March 5th to criminal damage to property and misdemeanor theft. A police camera caught Ferrer breaking into a police-owned bat car in December 2012.

Capt. Stephen Basting says Milwaukee police have arrested Ferrer eight times for theft over the last eight years.

"We know that his addiction is driving his crime spree. His crime spree started back in 2005 and he's been given the opportunity to go into treatment and it's a perfect case here - it's not working," said Capt. Basting.

Police are calling for the maximum sentence -- 18 months in prison.

Capt. Basting says the real victim in downtown car break-ins is the entire city of Milwaukee. That's why officials are asking the judge to show no leniency.

"We know at least one of his victims was from Atlanta. This not what we want our visitors to take back to Atlanta, we want them to have great time here in Milwaukee and not be victims of crime, then go back to Atlanta," said Capt. Basting.

The judge declined to sentence Ferrer on Tuesday -- saying she first wants to see him enter a drug treatment program. He'll be back in court later this month for a status hearing.

Related stories: