No Clean Getaway in Attempted Laundromat Theft, Police Say
A Waukesha man is accused of breaking into coin boxes at a laundromat on the north side of Milwaukee, but is stopped by customers and the owner, who hits the suspect on the head with his cane.
A 26-year-old Waukesha man is accused of breaking into coin boxes at a northside Laundromat before getting stopped by customers and hit in the head with a cane by the business owner.
James J. Kelleher was charged in Milwaukee County Circuit Court on Monday with one count of possession of burglarious tools and one count of entry into a lock coin box. If convicted, he faces up to 27 months in prison and $20,000 in fines.
According to the criminal complaint:
On Friday, customers inside Speed Coin Laundry, 5830 W. Fond du Lac Ave., saw Kelleher taking a device and using it to enter coin boxes on machines at the business. The business owner places his phone number on placard inside the business, so a customer called him and he contacted employees and the Milwaukee Police Department, telling them to get to the business.
The owner and employees showed up at the business and they and the customers saw Kelleher and worked to detain him until police arrived. Kelleher tried to escape, but he was eventually detained inside the men’s bathroom until officers arrived.
Police then arrested Kelleher and found his sweater in the bathroom with professional grade lock pick devices inside. His head was bleeding, which the business owner said came from him when he hit Kelleher in the head with his cane while trying to detain him.
While being booked, Kelleher told an officer he had learned how to pick locks from reading a book and “never had a license for this.” He admitted opening up the boxes at Speed Coin Laundry, but said he felt like he was being watched, so he didn’t steal anything.
Kelleher is currently being held in Milwaukee County Jail on $100 bond and ordered turned over to the JUSTICE 2000 program for supervision while awaiting trial.