Arrest made in burglary spree
A Waupaca man faces multiple felonies for allegedly stealing from his neighbors.
Joseph R. Guerts, 36, is charged with three counts of burglary, three counts of theft, two counts of criminal damage to property and three counts of forgery uttering.
On Nov. 16, 2017, Waupaca Police Officer Sam Van Dinter responded to a burglary complaint at 500 High Street.
A woman told Van Dinter she kept her savings of about $1,400 in two cigar boxes in her apartment and now the cash was missing.
She said she forgot to lock her door and there were no signs of forced entry.
On Nov. 24, the same woman told Officer Bret Rodenz someone broke into her apartment by forcing out the window screen. She said seven rolls of quarters were taken.
On Dec. 20, 2017, Rodenz was dispatched to 500 High Street in response to a burglary complaint.
A tenant said someone entered and rifled through his vehicle. An old checkbook that belonged to the vehicle’s previous owner had been taken from the driver’s side door pocket.
Rodenz contacted the prior owner. He said the checkbook was to a closed account that belonged to his son, who was currently in the military.
On Jan. 26, Rodenz hard a phone message from the wife of the car’s former owner. She said she had received three letters from Kwik Trip regarding bad checks written on her son’s closed account.
Security video at the West Fulton Street Kwik Trip showed a man identified as Guerts presenting the checks.
On Jan. 12, Officer Paul Benzschawel responded to another burglary complaint at 500 High Street.
This time, a tenant said someone entered his apartment through a window and stole a 45-inch TV and a digital tablet.
Benzschawel found some footprints in the snow around a Toyota Camry registered to Guerts’ girlfriend.
On Feb. 3, Rodenz questioned Guerts about the stolen checks and the burglaries at the High Street apartments.
According to the criminal complaint, Guerts said he found the checkbook in the nearby woods.
Police say Guerts admitted to the burglaries and said he dumped the TV in a ditch on U.S. Highway 10 near Reeks Road.
As of Feb. 12, Guerts remains in custody on a $500 cash bond plus a $1,500 signature bond that must be co-signed.