Lyle’s burglary remains unsolved

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Mike Heine
Friday, January 25, 2008
— The flat-screen TVs and high-end stereos are back on the shelves at Lyle’s TV and Appliance.

But owners of the appliance and electronics store still wonder where 30 televisions and 20 stereo receivers and amplifiers—some $200,000 worth of merchandise—went after a late-summer burglary.

Elkhorn police are still investigating, Chief Joel Christensen said.

DNA evidence was sent to the state crime lab for analysis, and the department is waiting for results, he said.

Christensen could provide few other details about the investigation.

The snatch-and-grab at Lyle’s was similar to a burglary at an electronics store near Fond du Lac weeks earlier and a Dec. 30 burglary at an appliance store in Marinette.

In all three, the burglar or burglars used the stores’ delivery trucks to haul stolen electronics.

The trucks were returned to Lyle’s and Drees Electric in Marinette. The trucks from the burglary at Silica Appliance Warehouse near Fond du Lac turned up in Milwaukee and Chicago, Christensen said.

Authorities aren’t sure if the burglaries are related or if they are copycat crimes.

“If there are similarities, there are similarities,” said Lt. Bill Flood of the Fond du Lac Sheriff’s Office. “I’d be shooting from the hip if I commented on that.”

“I think there are some definite similarities,” Marinette Police Chief Jeff Skorik said. “The investigators are aware of those, and they are looking at the possibility of a connection.”

So far, nothing more indicates a link between the break-ins, Skorik said.

Fond du Lac authorities recovered a few of the approximately 80 TVs stolen from Silica, Flood said.

Consumers should be cautious if they see incredible deals on discounted electronic goods, particularly items without boxes, manuals or serial numbers, Flood said.

Police can confiscate stolen property, and the buyer can be charged with a crime if he or she knew the equipment was stolen, Flood said.

“If someone has a $3,000 flat screen and is asking $800, you’ve got to think something is up,” he said. “If you don’t, you’re just taking part in a bad deal.”

Have a tip?

If you know anything about the late August burglary at Lyle’s TV and Appliance, call the Walworth County Crime Stoppers tip line at (262) 723-COPS (2677) or the Elkhorn Police Department at (262) 723-2210.

Last updated: 12:55 pm Thursday, December 13, 2012

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