Charges follow busted pop machines
Outdoor vending equipment hit in two villages
Nicholas J. Johnson, 28, Clintonville, is charged with criminal damage to an ATM, two counts of entry into a locked coin box and two counts of theft as party to a crime.
Shortly after 3 a.m. Wednesday, June 29, a woman called 911 and reported she woke up to what seemed like the sound of a sledge hammer slamming into something. She looked out the window and saw a broken vending machine and two men dressed in black, running across a vacant lot.
In response to the call, Waupaca County Deputy Kyle Wiskirchen was dispatched to the corner of Main and Center streets in the village of Big Falls. When he arrived, Wiskirchen found the front had been ripped off of a vending machine.
Shortly after 4 a.m., a woman in the village of Embarrass called 911 to report a burglary at Fletcher’s Corner Store. She said she saw two men running through her back yard.
When Deputy Bryan Strobusch responded to the complaint, he found a damaged soda machine on the west side of the building, a sledge hammer left behind and a shoe that had dropped in a back yard.
The owner of the store was at the scene. He reported that when he arrived to open the store, he found two teens breaking into the soda machine.
He then chased them through several back yards until they climbed into a dark maroon Dodge Dakota and fled the scene.
The store’s owner later provided investigators with video from his security camera.
On Aug. 1, the Waupaca County Sheriff’s Office posted several still images from the video on its Facebook page. They showed two men, one of whom appeared to be using a sledge hammer to break open the soda machine.
Authorities began receiving calls identifying the two men. Several callers identified one of the men as Johnson. The second man has not yet been charged.
On July 8, Clintonville police stopped a burgundy Dodge Dakota Johnson was driving. He was cited for driving after revocation.