4 in custody, suspected in numerous vehicle entries; ‘They would take anything they could’

KENOSHA -- The Kenosha County Sheriff's Department has arrested four persons suspected of numerous vehicle entries throughout the county.

Officials say from June 21 through July 5, there were approximately 35 reports of unlocked vehicles being entered with items removed. Most of these thefts took place in the Salem Lakes area.

The sense of safety has been rattled for Denise Daniels and her family in Paddock Lake. The family work truck was broken into.

"They got a concrete saw and a hammer drill and his wallet with all his belongings in it," Daniels said.

Denise Daniels

They were not alone. Dozens of unlocked vehicles in Kenosha County were targeted in the past three weeks.

Kenosha County Sheriff David Beth

"It appears they were going into vehicles that weren't locked out of Salem Lake, the Paddock Lake area and they did this over several weeks," said Kenosha County Sheriff David Beth. "They broke into cars in the driveway. They would take anything they could. They would take tools. They would take purses, wallets laptops, computers -- anything they could they thought was of value."

The sheriff said the crooks would buy electronics with stolen credit cards and pawn the electronics for cash. They would break into several vehicles a night.

Denise Daniels noticed her husband's credit card was used at a nearby gas station. She called the sheriff.

"'The card was used. Look it up for me.' So he was able to, within minutes, he said 'we got it. I have a deputy going there now,'" Daniels said.

The surveillance video led the sheriff to put out pictures on Facebook. Daniels said the crooks were also following the sheriff's Facebook page and must have seen their photos, but that did not seem to stop them.

"And they kept going, yeah," Daniels said.

Eventually, the photos led to these mugshots. Deputies arrested four people who now face a series of charges. The sheriff's department says 46-year-old Gary Brown, 33-year-old Nicholas Babcock, 33-year-old Daniel Celkis and 27-year-old Abigail Lipka-Bares were also taken into custody for the crimes that kept many in the county on edge. Formal charges haven't yet been filed.

The Kenosha County Sheriff’s Department reminds all residents to lock the doors to their property.