Police continue to investigate burglaries - WAOW - Newsline 9, Wausau News, Weather, Sports

Police continue to investigate burglaries

by Colby Robertson

TOWN OF STETTIN (WAOW) -- Police have arrested the person they believe responsible for several burglaries on Wausau's northwest side and the town of Stettin.

Zachary Rau, 27, is charged with two felony counts of burglary and four misdemeanors. He was taken into custody earlier this month after being caught steeling from local grocery stores.

Police then linked him to a number of burglaries and car break-ins from within the city of Wausau and the town of Stettin. Rau is expected back in court Thursday morning.

This arrest is certainly a relief for neighbors who have been living on edge since the rash of burglaries started back in May.

This upscale subdivision in the Town of Stettin was a quiet, trusting community. Joe Winter lives in the neighborhood near where the burglaries took place.

He says, "I've talked to a lot of people who have said I never lock my house, I don't lock my car, never had to and now we all are."

Doors throughout the neighborhood are now locked, garage doors closed. A community on edge for several weeks after a string of burglaries.

Joe Winter says, "It was really disturbing because we felt it was someone in the neighborhood but nobody really knew who he was. He just seemed to slip away and get away without any detection."

Documents show the suspect, Zachary Rau, turns out to be a neighbor to those he allegedly stole from. He lives down the road from sites where unlocked cars and homes were burglarized.

The district attorney's office has filed these initial charges, and police say more could be added.

Deputy Chief Bryan Hilts says, "We certainly haven't cleared all the crimes out there and I'm not necessarily saying he's responsible for all of them, there could be other people involved at this point we're happy we're able to resolve some of these."

Still one arrest a relief for neighbors. Joe Winter considers his family one of the lucky ones. The burglar attempting to break in, but turned away by their locked doors. Still a lesson learned for all to keep your house and cars locked at all times.

Winter says, "I think what happened out here can happen anywhere and I think you want to maybe always from this point on you're going to lock your doors. It might not happen for a long time, but it's not a chance you want to take."

Authorities have some tips on how to keep from being a burglary victim. First and foremost, keep the doors to your home and vehicle locked. Also don't leave valuables in plain view where they can be seen through a window.

Officials also recommend using motion lights or other lights around your home. Finally if you see any suspicious activity around your home or a neighbor's home report it to police right away.

Online Reporter: Colby Robertson

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