GREENFIELD -- Police in Greenfield referred charges on Thursday, Sept. 12 to the Milwaukee County District Attorney's Office against the suspects arrested in connection to a multi-state burglary ring. The suspects are accused of stealing more than $1 million worth of merchandise from retailers across the Midwest.
Years of proactive security measures paid off one night for Art's Cameras Plus employees in Greenfield.
"We put all of the valuables on carts and put them into the back into the vault," said Dan Flynn, a manager at Art's Cameras Plus.
Flynn said a burglar broke in through their window after hours.
"He was in and out in probably three or four minutes," Flynn said.
The suspects were unaware of the signs on the displays that read "All merchandise is removed from these cases each night."
"He jumped the counter like it wasn't there," Flynn said.
Flynn said the suspect grabbed several empty camera lens boxes off the shelves and ran out of the building.
"If you're not familiar with them, I guess you don't know how heavy they are," Flynn said.
While the loss could have been far worse, Greenfield police say the burglary is one of at least 25 reported in southeast Wisconsin, Chicago and Indiana over the past three months -- committed by the same group of serial criminals.
"They were very active. They were hitting every few days. And they weren't slowing down," said David Patrick, Assistant Chief for the Greenfield Police Department.
On Monday, Patrick announced officers had arrested four of the men suspected of being part of the crime spree. This, after responding to an alarm at Best Buy -- where the suspects led squads on a high-speed pursuit down the freeway.
Quick police work brought a feeling of relief to this locally-owned business.
"We were concerned they might come back," Flynn said. "It's tough enough in the retail world nowadays without having to deal with that."
The burglar used a sledgehammer to try to break the front door of Art's Cameras Plus. When he was not successful, he used it to break the window. That damage ended up costing the store about $10,000.