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Verona residents unsettled by recent auto thefts

VERONA (WKOW) — Kelly Berceau says she’s concerned after a group of people stole two cars from a home near her on Basilica Parkway in Verona Wednesday morning.

“It’s unsettling knowing that we need to be on more of a high alert and worried,” Berceau said.

Home security footage shows three cars driving off.

Police say a group of teens stole two of them.

Verona Police Lieutenant Dave Dresser says it’s the same strategy used to steal a car in Madison on Monday.

He believes the two cases are related.

“These folks travel together in tandem, looking for homes that have open garage doors, looking for cars that are unlocked,” Lt. Dresser said. “The benefit of watching these videos is that we’re seeing these cars show up in groups.”

Verona police asked nearby homeowners for surveillance video because they knew so many people in the area had the cameras.

More and more homeowners are considering getting one.

“With me and my husband this has definitely come up since this has occured,” Berceau said. “My husband tends to park outside so we’re probably more at risk than other people becuase his car is out here.”

Fast forward to Wednesday night: a break in the case.

Janesville police say the group stole gas and then headed to the mall.

Officers found the car while they say the kids were busy stealing a puppy.

Police busted five teenagers after they tried to get back into the stolen car.

Lt. Dresser says most of these cases have involved minors.

“It’s been our experience that the majority of offenders are under 18,” Dresser said. “Most of them are known and have been through the system before some of them are on remote monitoring.”

As for stolen cars in Verona, Dresser says in almost all cases, officers have been able to return them to their owner.

However, the most recent victims are still waiting.

Francisco Almenara

Reporter, WKOW

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