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Police seek tips in machine shop burglary
Late-night burglar spent over two hours stealing tools
Burglar video still at Davis Welding
This video still-shot from Davis Welding & Machine shows a masked, hooded burglar inside the rural Monroe business after breaking in late June 29, 2020.

TOWN OF CLARNO — Police are looking for a burglar after a video surveillance system at a rural Monroe business caught someone in the act of breaking in via a window and stealing tools.

The burglary happened late June 29 at Davis Welding & Machine, N1953 Jeffery Rd.

It was reported to the Green County Sheriff's Office the next morning shortly after 7 a.m., Sheriff Jeff Skatrud said. Detectives responded to collect evidence, including blood left on a safe when the burglar attempted to steal it.

"It will take time for the crime lab to analyze that," Skatrud said. The state collects a DNA sample from anyone convicted of a felony and in many cases even a misdemeanor, so it could lead to the identity of the burglar if the DNA is already on file.

Otherwise, the burglar is "pretty tough to identify" from the video, Skatrud said. The person is wearing a hooded sweatshirt with the hood up, a beanie-style hat and a mask.

A June 30 post to Davis Welding's business Facebook page with information about the burglary and a video still-shot of the burglar has been shared over 375 times.

Owner Jerry Von Kaenel said his son, Nash Von Kaenel, who graduated from college this spring and has been home helping out with the business while he applies for jobs, made the Facebook post.

"Last night we had an unwelcomed guest. He let himself in a rear window around 11:45pm and was helping himself for over 2 hours. Cameras showed out on the road a car with the same headlight (pattern) and profile kept driving back and forth while he was searching the place. ... If anyone recognizes anything about this person, happened to have driven by the shop last night and saw the car, or sees any tools come up for sale cheap, please let us or the sheriff's (office) know," Nash Von Kaenel wrote.

Jerry Von Kaenel said he isn't on Facebook himself and has been surprised by the response to the post: "There's a lot of people that are helpful."

Two days later, he and his employees are still discovering tools missing. Some of the stolen tools were marked with an employee's initials.

The burglar took power tools like drills as well as multiple whole sets of wrenches and ratchets.

"It was all nicer, newer stuff that he knew he could sell real easily," Von Kaenel said.