Charges filed in connection with rash of fall burglaries
A Merrill man remains in the custody of the Lincoln County Jail in connection with a rash of burglaries, and attempted burglaries, occurring Sunday, Oct. 20 into Monday morning Oct. 21 on the city’s northside and a separate string of incidents occurring Saturday, Nov. 9, on the city’s eastside.
28-year old Anthony M. Rowe was taken into custody on November 14 on a probation hold, following the execution of a search warrant by officers of the Merrill Police Department, at a residence on Grand Avenue. As a result of the search, items were located which matched those that had been reported as stolen during the northside incidents. The items were later confirmed as stolen by the rightful owners. A pair of shoes were also discovered at the Grand Avenue residence, which matched footprints found near the area of the November 9 incidents.
Rowe appeared in Lincoln County Circuit Court on Thursday, Nov.21 facing an array of misdemeanor and felony charges related to the two crime sprees, which spanned 19 separate incidents. Rowe’s charges include three felony counts of burglary, 2 felony counts of party to the crime of burglary, six misdemeanor counts of attempted theft, seven counts of misdemeanor party to the crime of theft and a single misdemeanor count of theft.
According to a criminal complaint filed with the Lincoln County District Attorney’s Office, during two separate crime sprees occurring on October 20-21, 2019 and again on November 9, 2019, the defendant, committed and/or was party to a crime of five garage burglaries, eight thefts from vehicles and six attempted thefts from vehicles. All the offenses took place within the City of Merrill and without any of the owners’ consent. Evidence compiled in these cases include partial admissions by Anthony Rowe, video surveillance of Anthony Rowe in one case and of a matching vehicle in another case, statements from named witnesses connecting Rowe to some of these incidents, the recovery of Rowe’s shoes which match footwear impressions at all of the November 9, 2019 incidents and the recovery of stolen property from Rowe’s bedroom during a search warrant.
October 18-21 Incidents-
During the overnight hours of Oct. 20 into October 21, the Merrill Police Department investigated 9 separate incidents involving vehicle and garage entries in the vicinity of Adams, Madison and Prospect Streets as well as 8th and Blaine Streets. Items stolen during these incidents included a handicap parking placard, laptop computer, checkbook, television, Blueray player, DVD players, GPS unit and a set of spare keys. During one of the burglaries, items such as lawn equipment and coolers were removed from a residence but abandoned in the yard of another residence.
Nov. 9 Incidents-
On Saturday, November 9. at 6:07 a.m. officers were dispatched to a North Van Rensselaer Street residence in the city of Merrill, in reference to footwear tracks in the freshly deposited snow, that made it appear as if someone was attempting to enter cars parked in the area. A single set of shoe prints was tracked to East Main Street, then were tracked forward to an address on Hope street. Ten separate incidents of vehicle and garage entries were investigated along the path of the suspect shoe prints. A total of $125 was stolen as a result of the Nov. 9 incidents.
According to information released by the Merrill Police Department, a combination of video surveillance from a gas station and footage from a private citizen’s game camera identified Rowe, and Rowe’s vehicle, in the vicinity of where the garage and vehicle entries occurred. During an interview with Rowe on Nov. 19, he reportedly admitted to being under the influence of methamphetamine during the incidents ,and was unable to remember much. He also indicated the areas of the offenses were chosen randomly.