Police say disgruntled painter stole $2,500 worth of goods

Oct. 31, 2012

A 42-year-old house painter, disgruntled at having just been fired, left his last job site with a good number of items stored in a garage there, according to a criminal complaint.

Benjamin Flores of Milwaukee was charged with felony theft in Milwaukee County Circuit Court on Friday. He is accused of taking $2,500 worth of items - ranging from a snow blower and lawn mower to a card table and lawn games - from a Wauwatosa family's garage.

According to the Wauwatosa police report:

The man was fired because of an allegation of theft at another property. He was painting a garage in the 2200 block of North 68th Street at the time of the firing, and, believing the homeowners to be away, he pulled his truck into the garage and closed the door.

But one of the homeowners was home, feeling ill. She didn't answer when he rang the bell, but went outside when she heard the suspicious activity.

She was in the alley when the man drove the truck, now filled with her belongings, out of her garage.

Undaunted, she accused him of thievery. He rebutted by saying his boss had said he could have anything.

She held her ground, saying that simply was not true. The man took a couple steps toward her, causing her to take a couple steps back.

He stopped, stared at her and jumped into his truck, careening toward her, she told police. She dove out of the way of the speeding vehicle.

Flores took bike locks, a card table, six chairs, four tennis rackets, a cooler, lawn games, a snow blower and a lawn mower from the Tosa home. Loss is estimated at $2,545.

Wauwatosa police officers called Complete Painting, the company she had hired to paint the house. The owner said that he had fired Flores right after he finished painting her house.


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