CRIME ALERT: Burglaries, thefts from vehicles surge in Ladysmith

By: Aaron Dimick Email
By: Aaron Dimick Email

LADYSMITH, Wis. (WEAU) -- Police in a local community are asking people to be on the look out after a big spike in crime in the last year.

Ladysmith Chief of Police Allen Lobermeier said the city has seen big increases in home and business burglaries and thefts from vehicles in 2011.

He believes desperate economic times in the area could be causing some to turn to crime.

Candy Patrick, a long time Ladysmith resident, told WEAU 13 News about when her home was burglarized.

“I found my piggy bank was empty. We noticed later that we had some Oxycodone in the cupboard and it was also gone,” Patrick said.

Chief Lobermeier said money and prescription drugs are just some of the targets of criminals in the city.

“Items that people can easily get rid of like DVD players, GPS units. They’re taking stuff that's quick, the cash out of the center console, things that are above the visors, things that are quick in and quick out,” Lobermeier said.

According to the Ladysmith Police and Fire Commissions Annual Report, home and business burglaries doubled to 62.5 percent in 2011, and thefts from vehicles jumped 115 percent.

“It's scattered throughout town, no area has been targeted,” Lobermeier said.

Police said a majority of the crimes have been pinpointed to three suspects.

Lobermeier said one of them is 34-year-old Robert D. Fullerton of Ladysmith.

He’s accused of committing six burglaries and six thefts in the city.
“I think the increase is due to the economy and our unemployment rate. We are considered one of the poorest counties in the state and that does drive an element into our crime rate,” Lobermeier said.

Because of the crime surge, Patrick said her neighbors have been double checking their locks and keeping an eye out.

“We’ve been a little more leery of what goes on and watching people. Neighborhood watch has been a big thing,” Patrick said.

As well as locking doors, Lobermeier suggests keeping valuables locked up and writing down the models and serial numbers of your electronics.

He said Fullerton will be in court on Tuesday.

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  • by onslo on Feb 4, 2012 at 07:21 PM
    hey we finally are number one ! Home to high unemployment, mediocre schools, plenty of registered sex offenders, no culture, but lots of dollar stores! Bubba paradise
  • by s Location: b on Feb 4, 2012 at 02:58 PM
    It wouldn't matter if they caught them anyway. The Rusk County justice system doesn't do justice.
  • by Edward Location: Ladysmith on Feb 4, 2012 at 10:56 AM
    Now you know why Dean Meyer mysteriously retired!!!!
  • by anon on Feb 4, 2012 at 08:07 AM
    maybe people should lock their cars and houses....its not the 1950s anymore...
  • by ballgame. on Feb 4, 2012 at 06:52 AM
    robbys a good man. i dont believe he did those things. maybe people should wait till hes proven guilty before passing judgement
  • by Mellisa Zimmerman on Feb 3, 2012 at 10:56 PM
    I was one of those in late september that was robbed. My car was broken into and still they can't find my items
  • by critic on Feb 3, 2012 at 08:33 PM
    Maybe if the police in Ladysmith would get of their squads and walk around sometimes instead of following each other around or sitting in their speed traps, they could catch some of these culprits. Any one sneaking around on foot can see and hear a car coming several blocks away and can just duck out of sight.
    • reply
      by Anonymous on Feb 4, 2012 at 12:11 AM in reply to critic
      So it's the cops fault that people are getting robbed? Wake up and smell the meth cooking. Rusk county has become the place known for unemployed, meth using, thieves.
      • reply
        by critic on Feb 5, 2012 at 07:27 AM in reply to
        Have you even been to Ladysmith?
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