WEST MILWAUKEE -- Thieves have repeatedly targeted an Army veteran in West Milwaukee. The victim said nearly $8,000 worth of property has been stolen from his house since fall 2018. He said police aren't taking the crimes seriously.
Now living with friends in Brown Deer, Paul Hawver said Tuesday, Aug. 6 he was relieved to have moved out of his home off 51st and National, where he said intruders broke in six times since November 2018 through a busted window.
"My kids' video game systems were gone," said Hawver. "My new TV was gone."
The veteran said the final straw occurred June 23. He returned from work to find the door wide open, and his German Shepherd, "Blu," missing.
"Honestly, I was more worried about him than the stuff in my house," Hawver said. "I mean, he's been with me so long, since I've been out of the Army. He's, other than my kids, he's my everything."
Blu was found a mile away, but Hawver said when he reported the incident to West Milwaukee police, the responding officer blamed him instead.
"The cops were accusing me of being a drug addict, or hanging around drug addicts, or stealing my own stuff. I can't afford renter's insurance," Hawver said.
A police report showed officers did interview several potential witnesses, collected DNA evidence, and searched the home and surrounding area.
The chief said his department takes all crimes seriously, and an internal investigation was underway which would likely include reviewing body camera footage.
Hawver said his ultimate goal is to get justice, and he said he hopes to feel safe once again in a country he served overseas to protect.
"Six years active Army, two combat tours," said Hawver. "The only thing I want to do is make an honest living, raise my children, be with my service dog."
Hawver said he has no idea who would be targeting his home. The police chief said despite the six burglary reports, officers have never developed a profile or a possible suspect, but said the case remains open.