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Elkhorn hit with rash of burglaries

Mike Heine/The Week

(Published Sept. 4, 2007, 12:48 p.m.)

A snatch-and-grab burglary at Lyle's TV and Appliance sometime between Saturday evening and Monday afternoon left the store nearly without any electronics equipment.

It was the biggest of a string of burglaries in Elkhorn over the weekend, Police Chief Joel Christensen said.

At least two burglars stole hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of flat-screen televisions, stereos, speakers and other goods by using the store's two delivery vans, said Lyle's President Tom Schinke.

"Whoever it was knew the store. They knew the store like the back of their hand," Schinke said.

The burglars cut a hole in the roof, entered the store through the attic scuttle and went to work quickly, Schinke said. They even used the store's forklift.

About 40 televisions were taken, Schinke said. Store employees are doing a full inventory today to see exactly what was taken.

Schinke said the burglars worked quickly because several wall-mounted TVs secured to mounts were not taken.

The burglars also knew how to disable the store alarm and knew where the truck keys were left, Schinke said.

One witness reported seeing the trucks turn off eastbound Geneva Street onto Lincoln Street and into the parking lot early Sunday or Monday morning, Schinke said. The witness couldn't remember what day for sure.

The vans used were a white Ford E-350 with a 16-foot box and a white GM cab-over delivery truck with an 18-foot box. Both say "Lyle's TV and Appliance" on the sides with company phone numbers.

Schinke believes the trucks may have been returning from the Lake Geneva area.

Other break-ins

On Saturday, burglaries were reported by the Elk Restaurant on Walworth Street; by the Elkhorn Income Tax Service on Lincoln Street; and by the Arrhythmia Center on the corner of Geneva and Wisconsin streets.

Cash was taken from the Elk Restaurant and the Elkhorn Income Tax Service, Christensen said. Police are not sure if anything was taken from the Arrhythmia Center.

On Sunday, three burglaries were reported at the Elk Center shopping plaza on Highway 12/67 on the city's north side.

Cash was taken from Fiddlesticks Restaurant, Pure Hair and Body and Budget Blinds, Christensen said.

Also, on Monday, Aug. 27, a burglary at Zandis Family Restaurant on Geneva Street was reported, Christensen said.

Police are unsure if the burglaries are related. They assume the break-ins at the Elk Center were done by the same person or persons.

Anybody with information on the break-ins are urged to call the Elkhorn Police Department, (262) 723-2210. Tipsters can also call the Walworth County Crime Stoppers Hotline at (262) 723-2677 and remain anonymous.


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