RACINE COUNTY -- Bandits burglarized eight homes in a subdivision in the Village of Rochester in Racine County early Tuesday, Sept. 10 -- stealing vehicles and other valuables.
Officials with the Racine County Sheriff's Office said beginning shortly after 3 a.m., deputies responded to numerous complaints of burglaries, stolen vehicles, and thefts from vehicles. Sheriff's officials said a preliminary investigation revealed the burglar(s) accessed unlocked vehicles and then used garage door openers found inside those vehicles to access garages.
Two vehicles were stolen.
Sheriff Schmaling would like to remind Racine County citizens, “Please lock your houses and your vehicles. Do not leave valuables in your car.”
"The two that came into our garage ignored the lights," said Bruce Larrabee.
The break-in happened as Larrabee was sound asleep.
"It went off at 3:13 in the morning," said Larrabee.
The burglar(s) started with his vehicle.
"I did the cardinal mistake of leaving my truck unlocked," said Larrabee. "They got into the truck, got the door opener, opened the garage door with the electrical opener."
Sheriff's officials said eight homes were broken into in the Village of Rochester's Camelback Farms subdivision. In all of the cases, the burglar(s) broke in through the garage.
Thieves rifled through George Vukobrat's home.
"These drawers here were like this -- opened up," said Vukobrat. "Probably a good 15 to 18 minutes, something around there."
Tools were taken, Vukobrat said.
"It was out of the larger cabinet I had in the garage," said Vukobrat.
Others lost credit cards and cash. Two lost vehicles.
"It seems like it was well planned to me," said Vukobrat.
"Keep your vehicles locked," said Larrabee. "Make it harder to get to anything that can access your residence."
Neighbors said as investigators responded to their homes, others on the same block were burglarized.
As of Tuesday night, no arrests had been made.
Waukesha County sheriff's officials issued a warning Tuesday after multiple thefts from homes, garages, and vehicles Sept. 8 and Sept. 9 in Pewaukee, Sussex, and Lisbon, and said the burglar(s) used garage door openers found in unlocked vehicles to access garages/homes.
In Sheboygan County, officials said there had been three burglaries at occupied, unlocked homes in three days.
In late August, Jefferson County sheriff's officials and Fort Atkinson police repoted numerous burglaries taking place in the early morning hours since Aug. 26, noting that the burglar(s) used garage door openers found in vehicles to access the garages/homes.