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Racine police say a local teenager broke into his friend’s house to steal a variety of items while no one was at home but was easily identified by the items found in his discarded backpack.

Shane Landvatter, 17, was charged Thursday in Racine County Circuit Court with a single felony count each of burglary and operating a motor vehicle without permission. If convicted, he faces up to 18 years in prison and/or up to $35,000 in fines.

According to his criminal complaint, Racine police were called at 9:37 p.m. June 5 for a report of a possible burglary. When officers arrived, the female homeowner said they had been out of the home for approximately four hours when someone broke in and stole:

  • black 18″ flat screen Vizio television;
  • Xbox 360;
  • a garage door opener;
  • car keys from a kitchen key hook; and
  • a four-door, burgundy-colored, 2003 Pontiac

The homeowner told police the doors to the residence were locked during their absence, but when they returned, the back door was unlocked. Officers say one of the woman’s children reported the missing TV so she and the child exited the home and called police.

Police searched the outside of the home and found behind the garage a backpack containing schoolbooks, a completed job application with Landvatter’s name on it and family photographs, the complaint reads. The homeowner was familiar with Landvatter and was able to identify the individuals in the pictures.

Officers spoke with the defendant’s mother who said she was unaware of her son’s whereabouts because he didn’t meet her for a ride home after school after visiting with his father. Landvatter’s father also didn’t know where the boy was at the time.

Police say Landvatter’s attorney eventually contacted them in order to turn over “certain items.” Officers found the car parked at Lincoln Lutheran nursing home, 1700 CA Becker Drive, and it had fresh damage, including a crack in the plastic front driver’s side bumper, fresh scratches on the rear passenger door, and a broken shifter. Inside the vehicle they located a variety of items:

  • the TV;
  • an iPad;
  • an iPod;
  • an Xbox video game console;
  • a Microsoft power supply unit;
  • a coin collection; and
  • a black box containing a gold metal bar

Landvatter was read his rights and agreed to speak with police. During the conversation, he admitted to the burglary and leaving the car at the nursing home.

At his initial appearance Thursday, the defendant was assigned a $10,000 signature bond and ordered to live with his mother until this case is resolved. He is also ordered not to consume or possess any controlled substances and to submit to both random drug tests and after each court appearance. He is not to have any contact with any of the residents of the home into which he is accused of breaking.

Landvatter will next be in court for his preliminary hearing July 9.

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