CALEDONIA — A Kenosha man is facing burglary and drug charges for reportedly stealing metal piping from the abandoned 7-Mile Motel in Caledonia last week.
According to the criminal complaint, Caledonia police were called to the motel site, 8205 E. Frontage Road near Interstate 94, for a report of an attempted burglary in progress.
State troopers had reportedly pulled into the parking lot of the property earlier to investigate a possible fire. When Caledonia officers arrived to assist, they spotted a Dodge Ram pickup parked behind the building and a white male running from troopers into a wooded area, the complaint states.
Officers reportedly spent several hours searching for the man, but came up empty-handed.
Inspecting the property, officers found that someone had forcibly entered the pump house for the property’s well; piping and other metal plumbing had been removed, the complaint states. They also reportedly located burglary tools, such as yellow rubber gloves and a screwdriver.
Checking the registration for the truck, officers reportedly found that it was registered to Jacob Elder, 26, of the 6100 block of 34th Avenue in Kenosha. An officer reportedly spotted copper pipes and tools in the truck. Searching the cab of the vehicle, the officer reportedly found marijuana, two pipes and a grinder.
Elder reportedly called Caledonia Police to ask about retrieving his car. When investigators talked to him at the station he initially denied any involvement in a burglary, the complaint states, saying he had pulled over as a result of car trouble. Later, he reportedly admitted to going to the hotel to look for scrap metal.
Later, police reportedly heard from two area residents who had trail cameras that picked up photos of Elder and another man as they were running from police.
During a conversation at the Racine County Jail, Elder reportedly told an investigator that the other man was his brother-in-law.
Elder is charged with one count of felony burglary, possession of marijuana, second and subsequent offense, and misdemeanor possession of drug paraphernalia. Probable cause was found to pursue the charges against him in Racine County Circuit Court on Tuesday. If convicted, he faces up to nine years in prison.
He remained in the Racine County Jail on Tuesday evening on what online jail records listed as a $10,000 bail/fine amount.