A 36-year-old South Milwaukee man is accused of burglarizing a Muskego man. The defendant had just been fired from a lawn care company tending to the victim’s yard.
Leonard J. Caruso was charged in Waukesha County Circuit Court Wednesday with one count of burglary. If convicted, he faces up to 7 ½ years in prison and $25,000 in fines.
According to the criminal complaint:
On May 7, a man contacted the Muskego Police Department to alert them to a possible burglary of his friend’s house in the W16400 block of Oakhill Trail. The man said he went to his friend’s home to pick up a toy that belong to his son and when he arrived there was a Mercury Cougar parked nearby and the door to the home was unlocked.
The man entered the home and saw a shadow move from the kitchen to the patio door, then said “hello,” thinking it was someone from a cleaning crew, but no one answered. The complaint stated the man then found the patio door open and saw the Cougar was gone and there were footprints in the grass leading to where the car had been parked.
Police contacted the homeowner who found 30 $50 Best Buy gift cards were missing from the home.
During the investigation, the homeowner told police he discovered an employee of a lawn service company that had been doing work at his home had recently fired Caruso and he drives a Cougar. Caruso was also be investigated by other Muskego police officers for approaching former lawn care customers and asking them for money even though he’s no longer employed by the company.
Caruso was interviewed by officers and he said he went to the victim’s home and stole 20 Best Buy gift cards, then spent some of them at the Greenfield location and sold the rest for less than face value to friends, according to the complaint.
Caruso is currently out of custody and a warrant has been issued for his arrest.