Wisconsin News

Police: Man breaks into apartment, Dale's Clothing

LA CROSSE, Wis. - La Crosse police say a 27-year-old man broke into an apartment and Dale's Clothing in La Crosse on Christmas Day and stole several items.

According to the criminal complaint, John Henry C. Smith broke into Dale's Clothing, 121 4th Street, while on methadone and prescription drugs and stole clothes and jewelry.

Dale Berg, the owner of Dale's Clothing, told police his business was locked on December 24 at 6 p.m. When he went into his store on December 25, he noticed one of the doors had been pried on and a 4x5 window in the back of the building was broken and it appeared the suspect crawled through the window. Berg reported several clothing articles and jewelry missing.

The criminal complaint states Berg told police he noticed a man walking past his store on December 27 wearing what he thought was a stolen coat from his store. He recognized the person as John Christen Smith, a Dale's Clothing customer.

A police sergeant contacted Smith and after referencing the incident, Smith told the officer he was sorry for doing the things he had done and would try to get all of the clothing back that he had taken from the store.

Smith told police he was wondering around downtown La Crosse while on a methadone program and taking prescription drugs and at some point blacked out. Smith said he remembered being on top of a building and going into somebody's apartment. He told police he rummaged through parts of the building and couldn't remember if he took anything or contacted anybody there.

Smith also said he broke a window and climbed through to Dale's Clothing, and started going through different locations and took a number of clothing items. Smith told police when he finally came to, he found bags of clothing that were in his brother's bedroom and knew that he had messed up.

On Monday, Smith was charged with two counts of burglary or dealing, repeater. A La Crosse County judge set Smith's signature bond at $5,000. No bond was set for his probation violation.

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