A man facing a theft charge told police he stole a dog from its backyard because he was concerned about the animal's welfare.
Charles J. Wallraff, 58, homeless, was charged June 10 in St. Croix County Circuit Court with theft of movable property (special facts), a felony.
According to the complaint:
Police were called to the 1200 block of Namekagon Loop Friday, June 7 at 8:14 a.m. for a dog theft report.
The complainant told police that around 7:31 a.m. a subject entered her backyard, walked up to her deck and took her dog, a pug. She shared video of the incident from her phone.
The subject was described as a white man in his 50s wearing a blue shirt, Twins hat, checkered shorts with a water bottle in the right pocket, and a gray beard.
Officers located a subject who matched the description in St. Patrick's Cemetery, living in a tent in a wooded area directly across from the area where the theft occurred. He was later identified as Wallraff.
Wallraff told police he did not know why they were there.
Officers noticed a dog in the tent that fit the description of the one taken. When asked, Wallraff told police he had the dog for a while, three months or so. He said the dog's name was "Puppy."
When police told Wallraff a dog was taken from a neighborhood deck, he said the dog seemed like it was struggling. Police informed him that the pug was blind and has diabetes.
Wallraff was arrested and transported to the St. Croix County Jail. In an interview he told police the dog had been yelping and he was concerned about its welfare. When asked why he didn't speak to the owners, he said he knocked on the door but no one answered.