Suspect caught on camera breaking into cars - WKOW 27: Madison, WI Breaking News, Weather and Sports

Suspect caught on camera breaking into cars

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UPDATE (WKOW) -- Surveillance video shows the invasive moments as a man breaks into nearly a dozen cars at an auto repair shop. From breaking windows, to opening unlocked doors, the man can be seen rummaging through vehicles while stuffing his pockets with stolen items. 

It happened behind Dutch's Auto Service Thursday morning. 

"It's not a good feeling. You feel very invaded," said Crystal Rossman-Maier, part-owner of the shop. 

"This is my house, this is my home. To come in this morning and have that it's just really heartbreaking," Rossman-Maier said, detailing the moments she realized what had happened.

It's not the first time this has happened at the auto repair shop. Rossman-Maier said several cars were damaged earlier in the spring after her surveillance video captured teens smashing cars in the back lot. 

According to the Dane County Sheriff's Office, this latest incident is just part of a rash of summer car break-ins. 

"We've seen a large increase throughout Dane County, so this is just one example of a trend we're seeing right now," said Elise Schaffer, the spokeswoman for the Dane County Sheriff's office. 

Back at Dutch's, Rossman-Maier says the biggest tip for drivers before dropping their cars off at a repair shop, is to take out all of your belongings that are inside.

The same belongings that deputies believe thieves are after due to the heroin and opioid epidemic across Wisconsin. 

"Most of the break-ins are people that are looking for easy things to pawn, easy things to sell so they can get drug money," added Schaffer. 

Now, Rossman-Maier's small business are having to pay out of pocket for the damage to her clients' vehicles. 

"At least I know the damage that happened will all cost one day's profit," Rossman-Maier said. 

A loss that will set her back as she is now forced to fix more than the issues several cars came in with. 


TOWN OF BLOOMING GROVE (WKOW) -- The Dane County Sheriff's Office tells 27 News nearly a dozen cars in an auto repair shop parking lot were broken into early Thursday morning.

The incident happened sometime between 2:30 and 4:30 a.m. at Dutch's Auto Service on Regas Road.  Ten cars were broken into, however, it's unclear what, if anything, was taken.  Three of the cars had the windows broken to gain access, while some were left unlocked.

Authorities are currently in the process of notifying the vehicle owners.  No one is in custody.

Anyone with information is asked to contact the Dane County tip line at 608-284-6900.

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