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RACINE — A 27-year-old man is facing more than a decade in prison after an alleged burglary at The Branch, stealing cash from a lockbox, liquor, a speaker, and a cooler.

Jacob Bahling, of Racine, was charged last Tuesday in Racine County Circuit Court with one felony count of burglary of a building or dwelling. If convicted, he could face up to 12-1/2 years in prison or $25,000 in fines. He has a 2016 conviction for burglary, prompting the state to charge him as a repeat offender.

The criminal complaint: burglary

According to the criminal complaint, police were called on Nov. 26 to The Branch/Coffee Collective, 1501 Washington Ave., to investigate a burglary. The coffee shop owner told officers they found a lockbox behind the building with $300 cash missing, and a cooler was also missing. The owner of The Branch said a JBL speaker and bottles of liquor had been taken.

Surveillance video from the establishment shows two men inside the building at 1:40 a.m., the complaint reads. Another man, later identified as Bahling, returns to The Branch and is seen taking bottles of beer and liquor as well as the speaker.

Later that same day, officers responded to a call for an unwanted party at a separate address. According to the complaint, when they arrived, Bahling was highly intoxicated and had to be medically cleared. Bahling claimed he was assaulted by three or four other people who had a cooler full of beer and liquor. He claimed the incident occurred at a bar on Racine Street around 4 a.m.

Two days later, during additional questioning, Bahling said he didn’t remember the night at the hospital, the complaint continues. After he asked if he was being charged and learned he was on video, Bahling asked for a lawyer.

Bahling was assigned a $400 cash bond and ordered to stay away from The Branch and to not possess or consume alcohol. He will next be in court on Dec. 14 for his preliminary hearing.


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