MILWAUKEE — Charges were filed Saturday, Sept. 21 against a Milwaukee man following four burglaries taking place in less than 15 days. Prosecutors said surveillance video, fingerprints, and DNA left behind led to his arrest.
Sept. 3 burglary in Milwaukee
The first crime happened on Sept. 3 near 74th Street and Chambers Street. EC Banks, 38, of Milwaukee, faces one count of burglary of a building or dwelling for this crime.
According to a criminal complaint, police spoke with a woman who said she came home from work and saw that a screen to a bedroom had been removed, and her neighbor’s screen was damaged, with the window ajar.
The neighbor told police the bedroom was “ransacked,” with dresser drawers emptied onto the floor and bed. The man said an engagement ring valued at approximately $5,000 was missing from a jewelry box, and a gold band with a sapphire gem valued at $2,000 that was also missing.
A fingerprint was lifted from three locations in the home, including the jewelry box. Prosecutors said it was identified as Banks’ fingerprint.
Sept. 11 burglary in Wauwatosa
On Sept. 11, police responded to the area near 61st Street and North Avenue in Wauwatosa, Banks was charged with one count of burglary of a building or dwelling for this crime.
According to a criminal complaint, police spoke with a woman who said she came home and noticed a basement window appeared to be open and the basement light was on. Police found the basement window had been broken, and the outside storm guard window pane had been removed and placed against the house.
The homeowners reported numerous items missing from the home, including a PlayStation 4, PlayStation controllers, an Amazon Fire Stick, a PlayStation 3, PlayStation 3 controllers, two Seiko watches, a coin jar, a pocket knife, diamond earrings, and a Bulova watch.
A broken piece of glass was recovered from the scene, with blood on it. It was taken to the State Crime Lab for testing.
Surveillance cameras captured the suspect, leading to Banks’ arrest
The complaint noted surveillance cameras captured the suspect. Still shots of the surveillance photos were distributed to other law enforcement in an effort to identify the man. The complaint said Milwaukee police compared a booking photo of Banks to the stills and determined the person in the photos was Banks.
Banks was arrested on Sept. 17, when an officer near 62nd Street and Garfield Avenue spotted a man matching his description. The complaint said he was wearing the same gray shirt and appeared to have the same backpack he was seen carrying in the surveillance video.
The officer conducted a field interview of Banks, and the complaint said he placed the backpack he was carrying on the ground, eventually putting down another backpack and fleeing the scene on foot.
As he ran, Banks dropped his cellphone, prosecutors said.
A Taser was deployed, and Banks was taken into custody.
During an investigation, the complaint said police found a firearm that was allegedly stolen from a homeowner on Sep. 9. It was found near where Banks’ cellphone was discarded. The victim identified the firearm as the one taken from his home. That burglary happened near 67th Street and Center Street. The criminal complaint indicated prosecutors issued a read-in charge for that crime.
Prosecutors said additional items were found in the two backpacks discarded by Banks, including jewelry, glasses, loose coins, a bottle of bourbon, a PlayStation 4, and video games.
Police investigated to determine whether there were any burglaries committed in the area before Banks’ arrest.
The complaint said officers found the screen cut on the window of a home nearby, and a screen pushed up on another window. Additionally, the complaint said a lower door to the duplex had been kicked in, and part of the door frame was broken, along with the deadbolt.
Investigators spoke with a man living in the lower unit, who said several items had been stolen from the home, including jewelry, glasses, a watch, a speaker, a PlayStation 4, video games, a bottle of bourbon, and a change jar. The complaint noted a backpack was taken from a spare bedroom, which was the backpack Banks was carrying when he was arrested.
Banks was charged with burglary of a building or dwelling, obstructing an officer, and possession of a firearm by a felon in connection with the incidents that occurred on Sept 17.
He made his initial appearance in court on Sept. 22. Cash bond was set at $1,000, and a preliminary hearing was scheduled for Sept. 30.
Prosecutors noted Banks was convicted of possession with intent to deliver cocaine, as party to a crime, in March 1999.