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Racine police say a man broke into the washing machines at Albert House to steal a few hundred dollars, costing property owners more than $2,400 in repairs.

Efrain de Jesus Rivera was charged Thursday in Racine County Circuit Court with one count each of misdemeanor theft and criminal damage to property and two counts of felony bail jumping. Because Rivera is a repeat offender – he has past convictions for a variety of offenses – if he is convicted of all charges, he faces up to 11-1/2 years in prison and/or up to $40,000 in fines.

According to the criminal complaint, property managers at Albert House, 4000 Maryland Ave., called police to report video showing someone breaking into washing machines on the premises and stealing the quarters inside. A total of six washing machines were damaged by a man who pried them open and took the coin trays. Each washing machine held $60 in quarters, and the estimated amount stolen was between $240 and $300. Repairing the washing machines came to a total of $2,400.

Rivera was identified as the suspect in video from the apartment building after officers responded to a separate call for a report of a man acting irrationally in one of the units, the complaint continues.

A warrant for Rivera’s arrest was issued in February because he failed to appear in Waupaca County Circuit Court for his plea deal hearing on a felony charge of identity theft and a misdemeanor count of theft. The defendant remains in the Racine County Jail on a $500 cash bond and will next be in court on April 13 for his preliminary heart. The court record does not indicate if Rivera will be extradited to Waupaca County.


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