Caught on camera: 2 charged in connection with theft of scrap metal from business; 1 fled the scene

Jeremy Debartelo and Robert Greskoviak

RACINE COUNTY — Two men have been criminally charged after prosecutors say they were caught on camera stealing scrap metal from a business in Racine County.

38-year-old Jeremy Debartelo of Kenosha and 23-year-old Robert Greskoviak are charged in this case.

Debartelo faces one count of theft of movable property as party to a crime, one count of criminal damage to property as party to a crime and possession of drug paraphernalia. He has convictions dating back to 1998, according to a criminal complaint, for offenses including disorderly conduct, OWI (four convictions), possession of drug paraphernalia, theft of movable property, bail jumping and more. Prosecutors say he was busted by the same deputies earlier this year in connection with another burglary.

Greskoviak faces one count of theft of movable property, less than $2,500, as party to a crime, repeater and one count of criminal damage to property, as party to a crime, repeater. He has convictions dating back to 2013, for offenses including endangering safety with use of a dangerous weapon, bail jumping, OWI and possession with intent to deliver non-narcotics.

According to the complaint, on December 22nd, an officer on patrol pulled into Hitters Baseball on 6 1/2 Mile Road after observing a vehicle parked next to some trailers in the parking lot. Greskoviak was observed standing by the bed of the pickup truck. In the bed, the officer observed “numerous sticks of copper pipe, valued at $300, as well as spools of yellow cable, valued at $500.” Additionally, there was a black duffel bag containing four bags of miscellaneous copper fittings. The officer observed metal shavings in the bag, indicating it had been used for something like this before. Inside a small mesh inside pouch, the officer located a broken glass pipe similar to one that would be used to smoke crack, along with an inhaler belonging to Debartelo. The complaint says Greskoviak indicated the items had come from up the hill at Southport Heating.

The complaint says Greskoviak eventually admitted there was someone else with him, bu the wouldn’t say who it was.

At the scene, investigators located a tool case containing a pipe threader valued at $1,000 next to a trailer. Nearby, they found coils of copper tubing, a large piece of scrap metal, and a 10-foot long piece of copper pipe with a crimp in the end, appearing as though it had been bent back and forth to make it a more manageable size. This was consistent with copper pipes found in the pickup truck.

Investigators learned all of the copper belonged to Southport Heating.

As officials waited to review surveillance video, they learned a second individual had been located at a gas station at 7 Mile Road and Frontage Road that matched the description of Greskoviak’s accomplice. Debartelo was taken into custody at that location.

According to the complaint, the surveillance video showed Debartelo throwing copper pipes over the fence from the trailer in the lot. The trailer was noted to have been damaged.

They made their initial appearances in court on December 27th. Both pleaded not guilty. Cash bond was set at $1,000 each.