By Shereen Siewert
WAUSAU — Police say two Wausau men stole an estimated $30,000 to $50,000 worth of tools, tool boxes, equipment and other property in a series of burglaries in the Rib Mountain and Wausau Area.
James Ulrick, 26, and Robert Miller, 27, both of Wausau, have been formally charged in Marathon County Court. Ulrick faces two counts of theft between $10,000 and $100,000 along with a misdemeanor charge of possessing drug paraphernalia, charges filed Dec. 19. Miller faces charges filed Jan. 2 of possession of methamphetamine along with two counts of burglary and three counts of theft.
Police say their investigation began Oct. 17 when a Marathon County Sheriff’s deputy was called to a home on Aster Road for a report of stolen Snap-On toolboxes valued at about $15,000. That case was highlighted by Marathon County Crime Stoppers and published in a Nov. 3 story.
Over the course of the investigation, police were tipped off that Ulrick allegedly tried to sell a Snap-On toolbox with a serial number matching one of four reported stolen from the Aster Street location. Surveillance video led police to Ulrick, and a search of his home turned up numerous stolen items including toolboxes and other items allegedly stolen from Kafka Granite, Trucking and Conveyor.
In an interview with police, Ulrick admitted that he and Miller went to Kafka between five and 10 times between Labor Day and Halloween to steal tools, welders, toolboxes and other properties. Miller initially turned over a “large amount of property” related to the thefts and told police he had bought the items from Ulrick, according to court filings.
But on Dec. 21, a group of 10 officers searched Miller’s Ruder Street home for the stolen items. During the search, police allegedly discovered 1.9 grams of methamphetamine in Miller’s pocket along with drug paraphernalia inside the residence, according to the criminal complaint. Police have not said if any stolen property was recovered during the Ruder Street search.
Both men are free on signature bonds.
Ulrick is due in court Jan. 29 for a preliminary hearing. A preliminary hearing for Miller is set for Feb. 12.