What began as a simple case of shoplifting was being investigated by Brookfield police as an armed robbery after a grocery thief threatened to stab a store employee while brandishing a meat thermometer.
At 9:58 p.m. Feb. 28, police were called the Pick ‘n Save at 12735 W. Capitol Drive after a security guard tried to stop the suspect from leaving with $99 worth of meat.
When confronted at the doors, he showed the sharp thermometer and threatened to use it. He did, however, drop the goods and the escaped in an older teal-colored Geo Metro hatchback, heading east.
He was described as black, in his 40s to 50s, 6-foot-1 and 190 to 200 pounds. The report did not say whether the meat thermometer was also thought to have been stolen from the store.
Depending on the suspect's record, if arrested merely for shoplifting, he might face as little as a municipal citation with a fine as low as $177. If arrested and charged with armed robbery, the maximum penalty would be 40 years in prison.
In other reports:
At 12:36 p.m., a woman reported that while she had been dropping her children off at Kindercare day-care center, 4080 N. Calhoun Rd., someone had entered her running, unlocked car and stolen her purse and contents including cash, driver’s license, passport, military ID, school ID, birth certificate and Social Security card.
At 3:51 p.m., a 32-year-old Milwaukee woman was arrested for theft from the TJ Maxx at 17460 Blue Mound Rd., where she worked. After store loss prevention noticed a return for $157.52 without a receipt, they checked the clerk’s register records and found discrepancies on three more transactions totaling $259.97.
At 4:24 p.m., Wildcard Gymnastics, 3545 N. 124th St., reported that a UPS package containing a $179 vacuum cleaner had been stolen off the front desk. In its place was a stack of job application forms. The caller told police she’d already called around to those businesses and they told her a man in his mid-30s, wearing a blue coat and a backpack, had picked up the applications.
At 8:16 p.m., a Brookfield woman reported that while she was at the Sharon Lynn Wilson Center, 19805 W. Capitol Dr., someone smashed a window in her car and stole her purse. While investigating, police discovered a second car had also been broken into and a purse stolen from it as well. The victims both admitted they’d left their purses in full view. Later, the Wilson Center put in a request for extra patrols during the run of “The Little Mermaid,” being performed by Park Middle School.
At 9:48 p.m., a driver for Jimmy John’s, 12460 W. Capitol Dr., reported that he’d made a $65 delivery to an address in Milwaukee and had been paid with $60 in counterfeit cash. The case was referred back to Milwaukee police.
A resident of the 17800 block of Maple Tree Lane reported that overnight Feb. 12 to 13 someone had slashed two tires on each of her two cars and scratched a profanity into one of them.
At 2:128 p.m., a resident of the 1200 block of Sunny Slope Road called police about her son, who she though was under the influence of drugs. Police arrested the 19-year-old for possession of narcotics after finding .12 gram of heroin in his pocket.
A manager at Sally’s Beauty Supply, 16750 Blue Mound Rd., reported that two men in their late teens or early 20s had stolen $75 worth of hair extensions and false eyelashes. She said she saw them leaving with the merchandise and tried to stop them, but they pushed their way past and she fell down. They got away in car with a generic Russ Darrow plate dealer plate. The manager said she “Hates reporting this because she gets laughed at.”
At 3:16 p.m., police were called to Sears at Brookfield Square after two young women grabbed armloads of merchandise and ran out of the store to a waiting vehicle. Police could not locate the subjects.
A man and a boy from Milwaukee, 21 and 16 years old, were both arrested for retail theft and the boy for drugs at the TJ Maxx at 12575 W. Capitol Dr. when they returned to the store after being seen committing the theft on Feb. 14. They were reported at 12:57 p.m. that day for a “grab and run” of 12 to 15 Polo shirts worth $34.99 each. They escaped in a black Honda Accord with temporary plates. They were recognized when they came back on the 17th by eyewitnesses backed up by security video evidence. The boy had unprescribed codeine pills in his possession.
Police were called to the Pick n’ Save at 12735 Capitol Dr. for a fight in progress and arrested a 35-year-old Milwaukee man for theft. The suspect was fighting with security officers who had tried to stop him from stealing two bottles of Vaseline Aloe Moisturizer worth $7.97. The suspect cooperated with police and no one was hurt.
At 6:52 p.m., two Dousman women, one 19 and the other 36, were arrested at Kohl’s, 2315 N. 124th St., after they went into a fitting room with seven tank tops and came out with only three. They were stopped, and four tops worth $48 were recovered from the younger woman. They also had jewelry in their pockets but no one saw them steal it. The older woman was arrested as party to the crime. She had prior arrests for retail theft, in 2003, 2005 and 2009.
Police were called to a retail theft in progress at the Pick ‘n Save at 15170 W. Greenfield Ave. after a man ran from the store with three packages of hamburger and one of buns. He pulled a security officer to the ground and got away on foot. Officers spotted him and gave chase but lost him in Brookfield Hills apartment complex. They found one package of hamburger and the buns along the way.
At 7:38 p.m., four Milwaukee girls, three of them 14 and one 13, were cited for retail theft at JC Penney at Brookfield Square. The report did not say what they attempted to steal.
A 21-year-old Milwaukee man was arrested for disorderly conduct at Brookfield Square and banned from the mall for harassing female employees of kiosks.
A Brown Deer man reported that while he was at the Pick ‘n Save at 12735 W. Capitol Dr., someone entered his car and stole a bag containing clothing and an iPad. The owner said his car was locked but he believed the keyless entry fob fell off his key chain in the parking lot and was found by the thief.
A resident of the 13800 block of James Street reported that overnight someone smashed a window in her car and stole her purse.
At 8:23 a.m., a manager at Jenny Craig Weight Loss, 17395 Blue Mound Rd., reported an attempted burglary of the business. The rear door had been tampered with and could be opened, but nothing was taken.
A man reported that between 1:30 and 2:30 p.m., while he was at Boulder Junction, 12550 W. Burleigh Rd., someone smashed a window in his car. Nothing appeared to be missing.