BROWN COUNTY, Wis. (WBAY) - The Brown County Sheriff's Office says it has now identified all 21 people known to have gone into an unoccupied home in Ledgeview over the summer.
Photo: Brown County Jail
They range from 16 to 20 years old.
The sheriff's office referring 17 of them to the district attorney's office for possible charges, mostly for burglary and criminal trespass to a dwelling. It referred the remaining four to juvenile authorities.
At this time, the only suspect identified by name is Seth Owens. The 18-year-old De Pere man was charged with burglarizing the home on Hawthorne Heights Drive three times.
A De Pere man has been charged in connection to multiple burglaries at a home in Ledgeview.
Seth Owens, 18, has been charged with three counts of Felony Burglary. He was given a $10,000 signature bond at Friday's court appearance and ordered not to have contact with any friends who helped him.
On Oct. 2, the Brown County Sheriff's Office was called to investigate burglary complaints at a property in the 2000 block of Hawthorne Heights Dr. The property has been vacant since about 2002. The property owner lives in another state, but his son checks on it from time to time. In July, the son installed security cameras in the home.
On Aug. 23, the son checked the surveillance video and discovered people had entered the home multiple times.
The Brown County Sheriff's Office received the footage and noted 14 separate break-ins between July 6 and Aug. 16. Surveillance images showed people gathering property and removing it from the home.
The break-ins involved males and females. Two or three people would go in at a time.
The thieves took a set of encyclopedias, a chandelier, a fur coat, a coin collection and a silver collection, among other items.
Investigators were able to identify several people in the surveillance images.
As seen on Action 2 News, the Brown County Sheriff's Office distributed images of the suspects. On Oct. 23, Seth Owens turned himself in. He admitted to taking property during each break in, according to the criminal complaint.
The criminal complaint says Owens admitted to taking these items:
--Approximately 10 pieces of clothing - 3rd time
--Approximately 4 toy cars - 3rd time
--Typewriter - 2nd time
--Approximately 100 books - 2nd and 1st time
--Two boxes containing and estimated thousands of stamps - 3rd time
--Toy Train Car - 3rd time
--Light Fixture - 1st time
--Couple of board games - 3rd time
--Approximately 10-15 Cardboard Cigar Boxes - 3rd time
--A couple of watches - 2nd time
--A blanket - 2nd time
--Wooden cigar box - 2nd time
--Couple of LEGO sets - 3rd time
Owens told investigators that he lives with his parents and all the stolen property was in his bedroom at home.
Owens said, "I am into photography and needed property for photo props. Taking photographs is a hobby of mine and I have spent thousands of dollars on it so I was just trying to save some money having to buy the props. I did not steal the property for resale purposes. My parents do not know that there is stolen property at their house."
Owens was able to identify some of the other people in the surveillance images. Some he did not know.
"I want to apologize to the property owners for taking their property and want to assist the police in getting what I have in my possession back to them. I wish that I was smarter and I feel bad for the homeowner. I know that is is not realistic but I am willing to assist in cleaning up the house and repair the damages. I believe that this should be the consequence for my behavior," wrote Owens in a statement to investigators.
The Brown County Sheriff's Office has identified about 20 people who have entered the property. About half of those people came forward after the photos were released to the media.
Juveniles will be given a citation or juvenile referral. Owens is the only adult to be criminally charged at this point.
The Hawthorne Heights Drive property has been the site of several break-ins over the years. It's been described as a "spooky" house, according to the Brown County Sheriff's Office. Investigators believe that's why it is often targeted for burglaries.
"We also want to warn those who are curious about this 'spooky house' to stay away. Not only is it illegal to enter, it is also dangerous. There are areas of the property that are not stable and other hazards that could result in serious injury or death," reads a statement from the Brown County Sheriff's Office.