Man faces 13 charges in connection to Racine County burglaries, thefts

Joshua Pitts

Joshua Pitts, 18, of Madison faces 13 charges related to a series of burglaries and thefts that happened in Racine County in 2019.

    According to a criminal complaint, the Racine County Sheriff's Department received seven different 911 calls from people reporting stolen cars, burglaries and thefts -- all from a Village of Rochester neighborhood on the morning of Sept. 10, 2019.

    The calls originated from homes, which were clustered in two groups, and were described by authorities as "direct" neighbors -- either next door to one another or just doors away.

    The first call came in around 3:20 a.m. Deputies spoke with a homeowner who reported a suspicious vehicle leaving his driveway. Several drawers were opened around the inside of his home, but nothing obvious was missing.

    Deputies spoke with the victim of a stolen vehicle and possible burglary around 4:40 a.m. The victim got up for work and noticed their vehicle missing from the driveway. The vehicle had "valuable" tools in the back seat.

    Between 5:30 and 5:40 a.m., deputies took three calls.

    During that window of time, the burglary victim told a sheriff's deputy that a work phone was stolen from the kitchen counter, several purses and credit cards were taken, and a car was stolen from the driveway while the homeowners were asleep inside. Investigators later found one of the stolen credit cards was used at an Elkhorn gas station, where the stolen vehicle was captured on video. 

    In a second incident, deputies responded to a call of theft from a vehicle in which the owner said the key to a truck parked in the driveway was taken. 

    The third call came from a homeowner who found the contents of their glovebox all over the front seats of the vehicle. Two other vehicles had been rummaged through, too. Several items, including financial information and documents, were taken from one vehicle.

    Around 6:15 a.m., deputies took a sixth call -- this time for a suspected burglary. The victim said he checked footage from his Ring doorbell camera and saw two suspects creeping around his garage door and entering his car and garage around 3:15 a.m.

    Deputies spoke to another victim around 7:45 a.m. who said items were taken from their daughter's car. Security system photos showed suspects in the driveway around 3:15 a.m.

    There was no mention of forced entry in any of the burglary and theft incidents, according to the complaint. In some cases, the suspects used keys or garage door openers found in unlocked vehicles to gain further access.

    After reviewing surveillance photos and video, investigators spoke with Madison Gang Task Force officers and other Madison-area detectives who identified two possible suspects -- including Pitts.

    Investigators spoke with the other suspect, who admitted that he was at the scene of the burglaries with Pitts and that Pitts was "going into the homes that were being burglarized."

    Pitts faces charges on the following counts in connection to the incidents. He was a minor at the time.

    • Four counts: burglary of a building or dwelling, as a party to a crime.
    • Four counts: misdemeanor theft, as a party to a crime
    • Three counts: theft by acquisition of a credit card, as a party to a crime
    • Two counts: take and drive vehicle without owner's consent (2+ offense), as a party to a crime

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