Caledonia police say a 36-year-old Racine man is facing charges after he stole racing pigeons from a home over the weekend.
Jason Kessler was charged Monday in Racine County Circuit Court with one misdemeanor count each of theft, criminal damage to property, and battery. If convicted, he faces more than two years in jail and/or up to $30,000 in fines.
According to the criminal complaint, police were called at 1:14 a.m. Sunday to the 2700 block of 3 Mile Road for a report of theft. When officers arrived, a man there said motion detectors, trail cameras and alarms had gone off at a property owned by a relative who no longer lived there. The man said when he went to find out why the alarms had gone off, another man -later identified as Kessler – ran out of the shadows carrying five racing pigeons.
Officers say that when the man confronted Kessler, the defendant grabbed the man and wrestled with him. During the confrontation the pigeons flew free and after pushing the man to the ground, Kessler left the scene in an Oldsmobile Alero with a missing headlight.
When police showed the man’s relative the video of the incident, he said he recognized the man as Kessler and gave an approximate address for him, the complaint reads. Investigators caught up with the driver and registered owner of the car who said he had driven Kessler to a neighborhood on 3-Mile Road. A few minutes after Kessler exited the vehicle, he came running back waving his arms and a man was chasing him.
Police say a lock was damaged on a coop at where the incident occurred and that two pigeons were found at Kessler’s residence.
Each bird is valued at $100 each.
Kessler remained in the Racine County Jail Monday night on a $200 cash bond. His next court date is Nov. 6 for a pre-trial conference.