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ROCHESTER – Two Madison men have been charged with multiple counts of burglary, vehicle theft, and credit card theft connected with a series of break-ins at a Rochester subdivision last September.

The Racine County District Attorney’s Office has filed 19 charges against Cleaster L. Moon, 25, and Joshua E. Pitts, 18. Both men are being held in the Racine County Jail.

According to the criminal complaint, Racine County Sheriff’s Department deputies were called to homes in the Camelback Subdivision on the morning of Sept. 10, 2019, to investigate reports of break-ins, stolen vehicles, and thefts of property from houses, garages, and cars. Deputies learned that thefts had occurred at six homes within close proximity of each other.

The thefts included a 2016 Toyota Camry and a 2011 Ford Fusion. Cash, credit cards, and personal belongings were taken from vehicles parked in driveways and garages. Purses and personal belongings were also taken from at least one home. Entry to some garages came from garage door openers kept in unlocked vehicles during the Rochester burglaries.

The surveillance video at one home showed individuals entering an unlocked vehicle and using the garage door opener to access the garage. Surveillance photography at another home showed an individual inside a car on the driveway that had personal items taken.

One of the stolen credit cards was used at an Elkhorn convenience store on Sept. 10 to fuel a Dodge Durango that had been stolen in Madison. The surveillance video at the scene showed the Toyota Camry that had been taken in Rochester. According to the complaint, Madison Gang Task Force officers and other Madison area detectives believed that the individual seen fueling the vehicle was either Moon or Pitts.
The criminal complaint also stated that stolen credit cards were also used at a Dane County convenience store and a Dane County fast-food restaurant on Sept. 10.

Later on Sept. 10, Pitts was seen on a Madison traffic camera driving the Durango. A few minutes after the traffic camera incident, Madison Police attempted to stop the Durango, but the driver fled, and the pursuit was terminated. That same evening, Pitts was seen leaving another stolen vehicle in a store parking lot where he was wearing the same clothing as when Madison Police attempted to apprehend him.

According to the complaint, Moon later made statements to investigators who put both he and Pitts at the Rochester burglaries scene. Moon also stated that he and Pitts were in the stolen Dodge Durango when the other vehicles (Toyota Camry and Ford Fusion) were taken back to Madison. Other statements made by Moon implicated Pitts in the burglaries. The criminal complaint did not identify other individuals involved in the thefts.

Moon and Pitts are each charged with four counts of burglary, two counts of vehicle theft, three counts of felony personal identification theft, two counts of fraudulent use of a credit card, four counts of theft by the acquisition of a credit card, and four counts of misdemeanor theft.

Each of the charges against Moon includes a repeat offender enhancement. Both men are also accused of being a “party to a crime” on all of the charges. Moon and Pitts made initial appearances Tuesday afternoon.

Read more: Racine County COVID-19 dashboard

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Denise Lockwood has an extensive background in traditional and non-traditional media. She has written for Patch.com, the Milwaukee Business Journal, Milwaukee Magazine and the Kenosha News.