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Footprints in the Snow Lead Police to Suspected Thief

Charges filed Tuesday after police say they followed footprints left in the snow to a Milwaukee man with stolen items on him.

A 58-year-old Milwaukee man is accused of breaking into cars in Shorewood after police say they found a trail of footprints in the snow leading to vehicles that had been rummaged through. 

Percy Lee Mitchell Jr. was charged in Milwaukee County Circuit Court Tuesday with two counts of theft. If convicted, he faces up to 18 months in prison and $20,000 in fines.

According to the criminal complaint:

On Dec. 29, Shorewood police officers were called to the 1800 block of East Kenmore Street for a suspicious person. When they arrived, they found fresh footprints in the snow leading to parked cars and garages in the area.

Officers followed the footprints to a car parked with its door ajar in the 4000 block of North Bartlett Avenue. The inside of the car had been rifled through and the footprints continued to a garage where another car was open and rifled through and there was now a bicycle tire imprint in the snow.

Officers continued to follow the tracks to the 4000 block of East Newhall Street, where they heard a bang and saw Mitchell standing by a dumpster near a garage. Officers searched him and found a snow survival kit and GPS unit, which were traced back to cars located in the 3900 block and 4100 block of North Stowell Avenue.

Mitchell will make his initial appearance in court Jan. 30. 

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