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Charges filed in burglary spree

December 14, 2016

Three men face charges for multiple break-ins in rural Waupaca County.

Taylor L. Verhagen, 18, Neenah, has been charged with four counts each of burglary and theft.

Andrew J. Dietze, 20, and Tanner C. Ater, 22, Neenah, have been charged with three counts each of burglary and theft.

The break-ins occurred over a two-week period in October.

The first burglary was reported on the morning of Oct. 10. A crossbow with scope and arrows were stolen from a shed on County Trunk GG in the town of Helvetia. A sawzall, a skill saw, a cordless drill and a flashlight were also reported missing.

Later that same day, five gallons of gas and a leaf blower were reported stolen from a shed.

On Oct. 15, two full cans of gas were reported stolen from a shed on County Trunk O in the town of Union.

There was a fourth burglary on Oct. 23 on Nicolai Road in the town of Lebanon. A sawzall, a cordless impact driver and a cordless drill were stolen.

On Oct. 14, Deputy Pat Gorchals, who was investigating the burglary on County GG, learned that the stolen crossbow had been sold to Scheels Sporting Goods in Appleton. The owner of the crossbow had gone to Scheels to obtain an estimate of the item's value for his insurance. A clerk told him that someone brought the crossbow into the store and sold it for $150 on Oct. 11.

Video surveillance and store records identified the seller as Dietze.

Deputy Jon Loken and Detective Sgt. John Mocadlo brought Dietze in for questioning.

According to the criminal complaint, Dietze told the officers that Verhagen drove him and Ater around the countryside, looking for targets.

On Nov. 23, Mocadlo was checking Leads Online, looking for items that may have been pawned by Verhagen. Leads Online is a national database of transactions made at pawn shops and resellers. Law enforcement uses it to recover stolen items.

Mocadlo noticed that three power tools matched those reported stolen from the garage on Nicolai Road. Verhagen allegedly sold the tools to a pawn shop in Menasha.

Mocadlo contacted the shop's manager and asked him to hold the tools and email photos of them.

Mocadlo then showed the photos to the stolen tools' owners, who identified them as his.

Verhagen was released from custody on a $2,500 signature bond.

Dietze was released two weeks after his arrest on a $2,000 signature bond co-signed by his father.

Ater was released four days after his arrest on a $2,000 signature bond co-signed by his mother.


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