Chewing gum left near crime scene used to crack burglary case

By: Aaron Dimick Email
By: Aaron Dimick Email

EAU CLAIRE, Wis. (WEAU) – Three men are behind bars, accused of breaking into a local business and stealing around $12,000 in tablets and computers.

WEAU 13 News has the inside story of how officers cracked the case.

The Eau Claire Police Department said the men broke into the MacMan store on Keystone Crossing back in September.

This past week they were all charged with burglary.

All of the suspects are from out of state.

They are 27-year old Mohamed Mohamed from Kansas City, Missouri, 27-year-old Mohamed Samatar from Minneapolis, and 20-year-old Olad Omar from Hermitage, Tennessee.

In the early morning hours of Sept. 2, Eau Claire police officers found the back door of the MacMan store had been busted open.

“They found a number of items missing; lap top computers as well as iPads. The value of those were nearly $12,000,” said Officer Kyle Roder of the Eau Claire Police Department.

14 iPads and 3 laptops were stolen.

In the store, officers said they found a bandana and a rubber glove left behind by the suspects.

Their search led them behind the store on Bullis Farm Road where Officer Colleen Bulman found another glove and a used piece of chewing gum.

“She did a really good job of making sure that we collected everything we could,” Officer Roder said.

One week later, Menomonie Police were called to Wal-Mart to check out a suspicious person.

Officers then searched a vehicle in the parking lot occupied by four men.

Police said they found an iPad, rubber glove and a crow bar.

All of those items were traced back to the MacMan burglary.

Just recently, DNA results from the crime lab showed the gum, bandana and gloves came from Mohamed Samatar.

That later led to the arrests and the three suspects being charged.

“We were able to work with the Menomonie Police Department in a great collaboration to make sure that this crime was solved,” Officer Roder said.

With all of the men being from out of state it's not yet known what they were doing in the area.

But police said some of the iPads were being sold on eBay and Craigslist in Kansas City.

“Being right on the interstate with a lot of major roadways coming into this area, we do have transient criminals come through the area,” Officer Roder said.

The suspects will be back in Eau Claire County Court next week for a hearing.

The owner of MacMan said only one of the 17 items stolen belonged to a customer.

That person had their laptop replaced by the store.

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