Racine woman accused of breaking into group home to steal $30 piggy bank

RACINE -- A Racine woman is facing multiple charges for allegedly breaking into a group home and stealing a resident's piggy bank.

Melissa Thomas, 31, is facing one count burglary and one count bail jumping. Thomas has a number of prior convictions, including previous retail theft.

According to a criminal complaint, officers were called to a Racine group home on West Lawn Ave. on Oct. 13, 2018 regarding a theft report. The victim said she left her room -- which is a single room -- and locked the door behind her around 12 p.m. When she returned around 3 p.m., she noticed her piggy bank was missing. The victim said her piggy bank contained approximately $30 in change.

When the victim realized her piggy bank was missing, another resident of the group home told her that she noticed Melissa Thomas, an employee of the group home, enter the victim's room from the east window of the bedroom.

According to the criminal complaint, investigators discovered Thomas pulled up a chair outside of the victim's window in order to proceed with the theft. When approached by another group home resident, the complaint indicates Thomas said she left her keys inside the victim's room and needed to grab them. Thomas then climbed into the victim's room, but she did not exit through the window. The group home resident was able to confirm with authorities that Thomas stole the victim's piggy bank out of her room.

The group home manager said that he was not at the home on Oct. 13 between 12 and 3 p.m. He also said that he spoke with Thomas that day on the phone, and Thomas told him that she left her cell phone in the victim's room. The manager told her that she was not allowed to enter the victim's room without permission, and she told him she may just climb through the window.

The manager said that he fired Thomas for leaving early without permission on Oct. 13, separate from the suspicion of Thomas stealing the piggy bank.

Thomas is due in court for a preliminary hearing on Jan. 30.