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Pair charged with armed robbery sought as fugitives

MONROE — A Monroe man recently released from prison and his girlfriend are considered fugitives on an apparent drug-fueled crime spree spanning the region and are charged with multiple crimes locally, according to the Green County Sheriff’s Office.

Samuel R. Schutte, 34, and Stephanie E. Retzlaff, 28, Monona, have warrants out for their arrest for an armed robbery of Schutte’s mother, thefts from a Town of Exeter couple and thousands of dollars in forged checks.

On Monday, Sheriff Mark Rohloff announced an alert for area residents “to be on the lookout for two fugitives with local community ties” who are “traveling together in southern Wisconsin and northern Illinois and are suspects in a string of crimes over the past two months.”

Schutte and Retzlaff have fled police several times already, according to Rohloff.

“In Dane County they evaded arrest after nearly striking a U.S. Marshall with their vehicle. Then again in Milwaukee County, (they) managed to avoid capture after crashing a stolen vehicle and fleeing on foot after a nearly six-mile chase,” Rohloff wrote in a press release Monday.

As of Monday, the pair were believed to be in the Milwaukee area. They are considered dangerous and a risk to the public due to the nature of their crimes, known drug use and their “extraordinary efforts” to avoid arrest, Rohloff wrote.

Schutte recently was released from prison after serving time for a 2011 home invasion and robbery in which he and another man targeted a Monroe home because they knew one of the residents was prescribed the prescription narcotic pain reliever Fentanyl. They pushed their way into the home, duct-taped the resident’s mouth shut, got his prescription and then made his wife hand over $500 in cash, according to court records.

Schutte is currently on parole through the Wisconsin Department of Corrections. Retzlaff has misdemeanor theft and drug convictions on her record in Wisconsin and is on probation for a case out of Columbia County.

They are facing multiple new criminal cases in Green County and elsewhere.


According to criminal complaints filed last week in Green County Circuit Court:

Schutte and Retzlaff conspired in an armed robbery at his parents’ rural Monroe home on Smock Valley Road on Sept. 5, using a gun they stole the previous month from his parents.

Schutte’s father reported the incident, telling deputies he believed his son came by the house when he knew his father would be at work and his mother would be home alone. Schutte held a gun to his mother’s head and demanded she go to the bank to get $2,500, the father said.

When interviewed by deputies, Schutte’s mother said she gasped out loud when she saw her son pull out the pistol. She said her son “waved the handgun around” in her general direction and said “pew pew” a few times but “never actually pointed it at her,” a deputy later wrote in a report.

Schutte’s mother said she feared for her safety and went to her bank to withdraw $2,500 from a trust fund. Schutte made Retzlaff go with his mother to ensure they got the money.

Schutte and Retzlaff also reportedly stole a book of checks from his parents, forging the checks at the Monroe Walmart and at a Monroe gas station.

In a separate case, Schutte and Retzlaff are charged with stealing from a Town of Exeter residence that Retzlaff had been hired to clean. A couple living on Christen Road reported thousands of dollars in cash, a checkbook, jewelry, hunting supplies and name-brand clothing and accessories missing. Several of the checks had been forged as well.

Police reports included with the Green County criminal complaints refer to thefts in other counties as well and that Schutte and Retzlaff “had been pawning jewelry, tools and lawn care equipment” over the course of the summer.

Schutte also has active warrants out of Dane County for charges of theft and possessing narcotic drugs.