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RACINE, WI – A Racine man remains in custody on a burglary charge in connection with a break-in at Plaza Jewelers, 3701 Durand Ave., early on June 1. That night included protests and civil unrest, which escalated into the burning of the Thelma Orr Community Oriented Policing (COP) House and a spike in commercial burglaries in the city.

The Racine County District Attorney’s Office charged Montavius A. Drane, 24, with burglary, retail theft-intentionally conceal, and criminal damage to property. All three counts list Drane “as a party to a crime” and carry a repeat offender enhancement. If convicted on the Class F felony burglary charge, he faces 12 ½ years in prison and/or a $25,000 fine.

According to the criminal complaint, Racine Police Department investigators recovered fingerprints from the burglary scene surveillance footage from the store’s security cameras. The fingerprints matched those of Drane and investigators compared a Department of Corrections photograph with a person shown smashing a display case and removing items. Investigators then contacted Drane’s probation officer with the information and placed a hold warrant into the national criminal records system.

Drane was taken into custody on July 4 by Mount Pleasant Police because of a traffic stop. When interviewed by Racine Police, Drane told police that he had gotten out of prison on March 31 did not know where he was the night of May 31-June 1. He also stated that he had never been to Plaza Jewelers and refused to identify others that may have been involved in the burglary.

The owner of Plaza Jewelry told police that damage to a window, door, and display cases totaled $2,500, and approximately $7,500 in merchandise was taken. The damage forced the store to be closed for two days resulting in a sales loss of approximately $2,500.

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Paul Holley is retired from careers in journalism, public relations and marketing but not from life. These days, he pretty much writes about what he feels like writing. You may contact him directly at:...