October 25, 2011 | 04:57 PMRIreland@lakegenevanews.net
ELKHORN — A 24-year-old Elkhorn man told police he stole items from storage units to sell because he lost his job and needed money, according to a criminal complaint.
Anthony J. Chiapusio, 5441 Schmidt Road, faces six felony burlgary charges and a felony fleeing charge.
If convicted of all counts, Chiapusio faces up to 78-1/2 years imprisonment and $160,000 in fines.
According to the criminal complaint:
On July 26, the Walworth County Sheriff's Department and the Town of Geneva Police Department were contacted by the owner of Elkhorn Self Storage, which is located in Geneva Township, about a burglary to a storage unit. The owner of the storage unit said a padlock was cut off and two lawn mowers and some tools were missing.On Aug. 9, another storage unit owner contacted police reporting her padlock was cut off, her storage unit was rummaged through and a tool box was stolen. On Aug. 29 two more owners of storage units reported that their unit was broken into, but it didn't appear any items were missing.
After these thefts, police reviewed video surveillance from the storage unit, which showed a dark Chevy Monte Carlo driving up to the units.
On Sept. 22, an owner of a storage unit reported that his unit was broken into and ammunition was stolen. Police reviewed the surveillance footage, which shows the same dark Chevy Monte Carlo, with no hub caps on it approach the unit. An e-mail was sent to surrounding law enforcement agencies to look for this vehicle. On Sept. 22, a Walworth County detective was on patrol in the city of Delavan and attempted to stop a vehicle with this description, but the driver fled and the subsequent chase reached speeds of more than 100 mph.
On Sept. 29, Chiapusio was questioned by police and admitted he was driving the vehicle that fled from law enforcement. He said he fled because he thought he was wanted for the burglary of the storage units. After the chase, he said he sold his vehicle for $300. Chiapusio told police he lost his job about three months ago and needed money, and that he broke into the units to steal items to sell.