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Jury convicts 17-year-old boy in rash of vehicle break-ins in Waukesha County

Prentiss Adams

WAUKESHA COUNTY — A 17-year-old boy was convicted in the second of three cases filed against him in 2018. Prosecutors said he was involved in a rash of vehicle break-ins (with charges filed in April 2018) and a string of gun shop burglaries (with charges filed in May 2018) in Waukesha County.

A jury on June 13 found Prentiss Adams guilty on six counts filed in April 2018 in Waukesha County:

  • Attempted first degree intentional homicide, use of a dangerous weapon
  • Possession of a firearm by an adjudicated delinquent of a felony
  • Burglary of a building or dwelling, as party to a crime
  • Theft of movable property — less than $2,500, as party to a crime — two counts
  • Armed robbery with threat of force, as party to a crime

A review hearing was set for Monday, June 17 to address where Adams will be housed until sentencing and to set the sentencing date.

In May 2018, three charges were filed out of Waukesha County:

  • Attempted burglary while armed with a dangerous weapon, as party to a crime
  • Burglary while armed with a dangerous weapon, as party to a crime
  • Possession of a firearm by an adjudicated delinquent of a felony

A hearing was scheduled for June 17 in that case.

In February 2018, Adams was charged with vehicle operator flee/elude officer out of Dane County. He pleaded guilty in November 2018 and was sentenced to serve one year in jail with Huber release.

According to prosecutors, on Jan. 19, 2018, two gun shops were broken into. The first — Select Fire Weaponry in Waukesha. Surveillance video from the shop showed five teens, including Adams, running toward the entrance. They were wearing hoods and had masks or bandannas covering their faces. One of them was holding a crow bar. Another was carrying an AR-15 or AK-47-type rifle.

After smashing a window, the surveillance video showed they changed their minds, leaving in a gray or silver sedan. One of them later admitted to police that an alarm scared them off.

Select Fire Weaponry

They were not done yet. Officials said they made their way to Freedom Arms Unlimited in Oconomowoc, where prosecutors said they broke in and emptied several display cases. Investigators said one of the cases had four bullet holes, shell casings and a hammer nearby. According to police, 20 to 30 firearms were stolen.

That same day, Milwaukee police responded to a shooting. During a search of the home, they found 20 guns — 17 that were stolen from Freedom Arms.

Freedom Arms Unlimited

Several arrests were made and one suspect told police that Adams, who went by the name “Swiper,” took the rest of the guns with him.

In the other case filed against him out of Waukesha County in 2018, Adams was charged with attempted murder following a rash of car break-ins in November 2017. On Nov. 10, 2017, prosecutors said Adams and three others burglarized several homes and cars in Waukesha County. When they got to Sierra Drive, a neighbor noticed them rummaging through a car. He heard a male voice yell, “Don’t!” Then he saw a muzzle flash and glass break. The shot just missed the neighbor’s head. Three days after the crime spree, police in Wisconsin Dells stopped the burglary ring in a stolen car. They traced where the car had been through the GPS — and found it was at each victim’s house.

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