A Ladysmith man is facing multiple misdemeanor charges in connection with an alleged break-in at a rural Cumberland home as a result of an investigation involving law enforcement officers in both Barron and Rusk counties, Barron County Circuit Court documents said.
A complaint filed Friday, Sept. 27, 2019, identifies the defendant as 18-year-old Clayton M. Lauritsen, 818 Menasha Ave. E., Ladysmith.
The break-in was reported July 28, 2019, at the home of the defendant’s adoptive parents, who live on the 600 block of 24 1/2 Avenue in the town of Lakeland.
The homeowners said the defendant and his girlfriend had been at the home July 27, working on a car in a detached garage. The owners told the defendant to get anything out of the house that he would need, as they needed to go. They then locked the house and left.
When they returned, the property owners found the defendant and his girlfriend in the home. The stepmother told the defendant he was not to be in the home, but he allegedly said that he needed to get some tools and other property. He and the girlfriend later left.
The next day, the owners found a round of ammunition on the basement floor near their gun safe. A .308 rifle was missing from the safe, along with between $4,000 and $4,500 in cash.
A Barron County Sheriff’s deputy looked at a door to an attached garage at the home and found damage to a lock and the door jamb. In a later phone conversation with the deputy, the defendant allegedly admitted breaking into the home but denied taking cash.
Meanwhile, Ladysmith police went to visit the defendant at his girlfriend’s home. A Ladysmith officer spoke with the defendant and his girlfriend, who said the defendant had just given her some cash. The defendant said he had just been paid that day. But when the Ladysmith officer separated the two, the girlfriend allegedly said the defendant took money from his stepparents’ home and later told her “it was at least $1,000.”
Ultimately, the Ladysmith officer seized $1,200 in $100 bills from a vehicle owned by the girlfriend’s mother, and $494 from the defendant’s wallet (which he allegedly insisted was from his paycheck).
He also allegedly admitted to buying a new motorcycle helmet and mask worth $100, had repaid an additional $80 to Ladysmith filling stations where he had taken gasoline without paying, and “spent an unknown amount of money on ... food and gas.”