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Cudahy neighborhood on high alert after man arrested, charged in snow shoveling scam 

Michael Falkenstein

CUDAHY -- Neighbors in Cudahy, worry the most recent snowfall is creating a crime of opportunity. They are worried a man who has already been arrested for two burglaries is back at it. He's out on bail.

Police arrested 24-year-old Michael Falkenstein in late January. Investigators say he went door to door, asking if anyone needed their driveways shoveled and when no one was home, he broke in.

"Everyone's just keeping a close watch," said Randi Fleischman, neighbor.

Friday morning, several neighbors got a knock on their door from a man offering to help clear the snow.

"You think it's someone going around trying to help out other people and here he is trying to rip them off," said Fleischman.

Randi Fleischman, watched from her window as the man was stopped by officers. Cudahy police say Michael Falkenstein is the same man arrested last month, accused of committing two home burglaries. He was recently released on bail.

Investigators say he used shoveling as a way to case houses. He was not arrested Friday, but police say they took him home and ordered him to stop soliciting.

Randi Fleischman

"A lot of us were on edge and when we found out they caught him, we were happy and now to hear this again this morning, we're back on our seats kind of waiting to see what happens next," said Fleischman.

Neighbors will continue to keep a close watch, hopeful the crimes he's accused of are put on ice.

"We're just going to keep staying in contact with each other, look out for one another," Fleischman said.

Again, Falkenstein was not arrested in this latest case because he did not break the law. He is expected back in court next week.