Woman’s call to police leads to arrest of Port men accused in rash of thefts
Two men were arrested in connection with a recent rash of thefts from parked vehicles in the City of Port Washington.
Collin J. Nelson, 19, and William Partridge, 21, both of Port Washington, were arrested after a woman called Port police about 1:30 a.m. Saturday, July 13, to report she saw someone going through vehicles on Parkview Lane.
With a description provided by the witness, the men were arrested by officers while they were walking to their home, Police Chief Kevin Hingiss said.
“It was good work by the citizen in calling us and giving us a good description,” Hingiss said. “That’s what we need are people who, if they see something suspicious, call us right away.”
Police don’t know if the two men are responsible for all the thefts reported in recent weeks, Hingiss said.
“The case is still open,” he said. “We need people to lock their car doors or, at the very least, remove valuables from them.”
Nelson was charged in Ozaukee County Court Monday with one felony count of possession of a narcotic drug, two counts of misdemeanor theft as a party to a crime and two misdemeanor counts of possession of drug paraphernalia as a party to a crime.
Partridge was charged with the same four misdemeanor counts, as well as one count of misdemeanor bail jumping.
According to the criminal complaint, when the men were arrested, Nelson had a black backpack that contained three GPS units, an iPod Touch, a man’s silver watch, a radar detector and “a few handfuls of coins.”
Nelson told police that he had been going through cars in the neighborhood, stealing items and selling them on Craig’s List to get money, the complaint states. Among the items he had previously stolen from vehicles were a camera with a large lens that he sold for $120 and at least two GPS units.
Nelson said he had gone into four cars that night and other cars on previous nights with Partridge, adding Partridge had not gotten much more than the watch and iPod the night they were arrested, the complaint states.
During a search of the men’s apartment, police found drug paraphernalia, including a blown-glass drug pipe, a Gatorade bottle modified to smoke marijuana and a black grinder, according to the complaint.
A white powder that Nelson said was crushed Percocet was also found in a bag in the apartment, the complaint states.
If convicted of the felony charge, Nelson faces a maximum sentence of 3-1/2 years in prison and a $10,000 fine.
The men face maximum penalties on the theft and paraphernalia charges of 20 months in jail and $21,000 in fines.
Partridge also faces nine months in jail and a $10,000 if convicted of the bail jumping charge. He had been charged with possession of marijuana and drug paraphernalia earlier this month and was out on bond at the time of the July 13 thefts, according to the complaint. One condition of his bail is that he not commit any crimes.
Police are still looking for the owner of the camera that was stolen by the men, Hingiss said, noting it was taken from a truck around June 24.