(Updated at 9:30 p.m. Monday to add Sept. 4 burglary and coins/jewelry theft.)
More than $50,000 in jewelry was stolen in a string of Brookfield home burglaries in recent days, with the thief or thieves smashing rear patio doors and windows to gain entry, police said.
"We think they're probably related," Police Capt. Jim Adlam said. "It may be the same person or group but we're not sure right now."
Brookfield police are working with other area departments, such as West Allis and New Berlin, who have had "similar" home burglaries and jewelry thefts, Adlam said.
Jewelry, especially gold jewelry, from rings, earrings, necklaces and more were reported stolen from ransacked Brookfield homes on Friday and Saturday. There are a lot of desperate people out there and (jewelry is) an easy thing to pawn" for substantial cash, Adlam said.
Increased patrols in neighborhoods hit
For now police are doing saturation patrols around the two areas where homes were hit — in southwestern and central Brookfield.
"The problem is not knowing where it’s going to hit next," Adlam said.
According to police reports:
A mother and her children returned to their home in the 900 block of Egan Road — roughly east of Weston Hills Park — about 11:30 p.m. Friday and found the rear patio door smashed, with broken glass on the ground.
Inside the house was ransacked with more than $10,000 worth of jewelry taken. The woman said she had been gone since about 4:30 p.m. that day.
At 1:11 p.m. Saturday, Brookfield police were called again, to a home not far away in the 18600 block of Kestrel Trail. A friend checking on that home while the homeowners were out of town found the back patio door smashed.
A neighbor reported seeing two black males in their 20s back into the driveway in a maroon minivan and quickly drive away about 5:30 to 6 p.m. Friday.
Bedrooms and a bathroom were rifled through, with an unknown amount of jewelry and money stolen. The homeowner's daughter was unable to provide an estimate of the loss and police were waiting for the homeowners to return for a full accounting of the theft.
At 3:44 p.m. Saturday, another burglary call came in. A resident in the 1660 block of Lake Circle — roughly northeast of Calhoun Road and Wisconsin Avenue — said he returned from golfing to find his rear windows broken, mud on the carpet and blinds in disarray.
More than $34,000 in jewelry was stolen, he said.
He said he had been gone just less than three hours Saturday afternoon.
Police reports also show another burglary Sept. 4 in the 1100 block of Egan Road.
In that case, a woman said she was gone for one hour and came home at 4:45 p.m. to find her patio door shattered. Gone were 15 gold collector coins (each valued at $400), an unknown number of 24-karat gold animals (also $400 each) and a 24-karat gold monkey holding a black pearl (worth $800).
The house was a mess, with clothes dumped all over the floor and doors left open, she told police.