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Tuesday, Sep. 2, 2014

Rash of break-in create problems for small Scott County community

Friday, August 22, 2008

(Photo)
Schindler's Tavern owner Rick Lawson explains how burglars pulled out a window air conditioning unit and broke out a window to gain access into the New Hamburg business early Thursday. About 15 cars in six locations in New Hamburg were also burglarized during the same time frame. Leonna Heuring, Staff
NEW HAMBURG -- Scott County Sheriff's Department officers are investigating a rash of break-ins reported early Thursday in New Hamburg.

About 15 vehicles were burglarized in six locations early Thursday morning in the small Scott County town, according to Sheriff Rick Walter. Money, gloves, CDs and backpacks were among items reported stolen from vehicles, he said. Schindler's Tavern was also broken into early Thursday.

"Times, unfortunately, aren't like they used to be," Walter said. "We have scum out there stealing from good, hardworking people."

Officers aren't exactly sure of the time the break-ins occurred but know they were after the 1:30 a.m. closing time of Schindler's, Walter said.

Schindler's Tavern owner Rick Lawson said he was surprised when he arrived to work between 5:30 a.m. and 6 a.m. Thursday and discovered his business had been burglarized.

"I had no idea what had just happened. It was very bad," Lawson said about entering his business.

Burglars yanked out a window air conditioning unit, broke the glass of the window and crawled into Schindler's Tavern where coins from video game machines and money were stolen, said Lawson who immediately notified the sheriff's department. Damage was done inside the tavern with suspects cutting the wires to the surveillance cameras and taking the receiver. Also burglars kicked down a wooden door connecting to an office.

Lawson said the tavern opened at 11:30 a.m. Thursday, which is 90 minutes later than normal hours. However, business resumed as usual, he said.

Walter said he thinks more than one person committed the crimes.

On Thursday, officers photographed, processed and collected evidence at the scenes.

"Now we're trying to follow up on some leads, and hopefully it will turn out we get somebody," Walter said. "We're going to do everything we can to catch them and put them in jail."

In the meantime, the sheriff said it would be wise for residents to secure their vehicles.

"Make sure keys aren't in vehicles and don't leave any valuables in vehicles," he suggested.

At press time, no suspects have been arrested.