Wauwatosa graduation party ends with a robbery at gunpoint and a car being stolen

·2 min read

Relaxed cheer and celebration could be found in the Olde Hillcrest neighborhood of Wauwatosa where a graduation party was being held on June 26.

But the scene quickly turned to one of tense fear as three hooded men, one holding a gun, stormed the backyard and demanded partygoers turn over their valuables.

Officers responded within minutes, but only after the suspects fled with a wallet, cellphone and a black Volkswagen. Nobody was physically harmed.

The Volkswagen was later recovered on Milwaukee’s north side, according to police, but there was no sign of the men who stole it.

According to Wauwatosa Police Sgt. Abby Pavlik, a white car, possibly a Nissan, was also involved in the getaway; police suspect that this car may have been stolen as well.

The homeowners declined to be interviewed for this story.

Jason Fischer, a neighbor who lives across the street from where the incident happened, said when he arrived at the scene the culprits had already fled.

"I could hear the sirens coming up when I got out and they were gone. So it just happened that fast," said Fischer.

Though he did not witness the event, Fischer was able capture the incident on a Ring security camera at his home. The video shows the suspects surveying the house minutes before they ran into the backyard.

The three men were in the backyard for about one minute before video shows them fleeing the scene in the stolen Volkswagen.

Nick Leonardelli lives three houses down from where robbery happened. He said that he did not hear or anything until the police arrived and was surprised when he learned what had happened.

"Things like this don't usually happen here; it is usually a quiet place," said Leonardelli.

Fischer echoed this saying that Olde Hillcrest is usually a calm area where there are kids playing or residents going on walks, but he added that crime in the area does seem to be increasing in recent years.

Although police were able to obtain surveillance footage from Fischer, their search for the men, was unsuccessful. The incident remains under investigation.

This crime comes as the city has seen an increase in purse snatchings. In regards to this increase in quickly executed robbery, Pavlik said WPD has increased its presence in areas where they see a need.

“While officers routinely patrol the entire city, if we identify certain areas that may require extra attention for whatever reason (traffic concerns, parking, pedestrian concerns, crime, etc.), we will reallocate additional resources to those areas," she said.

Beck Andrew Salgado can be reached at 512-568-4070 or Bsalgado@Gannett.com. Follow him on Twitter at @Beck_Salgado

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This article originally appeared on Milwaukee Journal Sentinel: Wauwatosa grad party end with robbery at gun point