Alan J. Schwartzbauer, 27, of Grantsburg was charged Nov. 28 with attempted burglary and damage to property on Oct. 6 at the Straight 8 Bar on Hwy. 8, Amery. Investigators from the Polk, Burnett and St. Croix County Sheriff's departments continue to unravel a string of bar break ins that focused on gambling machines in taverns.
Schwartzbauer was charged in October in two break ins Oct. 3: an attempted break in at the Midtown Tavern on Highway 35 north of Siren and a break in the same night at the Last Call Bar-N-Grill on State Road 70 east of Siren.
Schwartzbauer is currently in custody for the first arrest.
The latest arrest began with investigators from Polk County being called to a dispute between two people and the owner of the River Valley Inn and Suites over payment for lodging.
When officers arrived on the scene, the people were "furtively attempting to close and conceal" two bags inside the room. Officers noted a "thick" wallet used by one of the persons to pay the room bill.
A 1998 black Nissan Maxima was located in the hotel parking lot. Inside the vehicle in plain sight was a bandanna, a bolt cutter tool and a camouflage shirt, all consistent with the most recent break in at the Fishbowl Bar and Grill in Danbury.
In the early morning hours of Oct. 6, the Nissan was stopped and the persons from the hotel room were arrested on drug related charges. The car was towed to the Polk County Sheriff's Department and stored in the indoor garage awaiting a search warrant. The bolt cutters observed earlier in the vehicle, were no longer there. Prior to the traffic stop and arrest, officers had observed the vehicle at the Wal-Mart in St. Croix Falls.
Polk County investigators were contacted by a confidential informant in the early morning hours of Oct. 6. The informant told investigators that Alan Schwartzbauer had stopped at the informant's residence and was seen with a bucket containing miscellaneous money and coins.
Schwartzbauer allegedly told the informant that he had just "done a job" in Star Prairie and was on his way to meet a male subject in Cushing to do another job.
Schwartzbauer was being given a ride to Cushing by another person known to be driving a red Chevy Cobalt. The person was wanted on probation and parole warrants.
A compact vehicle, believed to be red, was observed on surveillance video from Cedar Creek Inn, CTH in St. Croix County. Cedar Creek had a break in at approximately 1:35 a.m. on Oct. 6. Surveillance video from the incident showed a single individual breaking into gambling machines with bolt cutters.
At approximately 3:30 a.m., an investigator from the Sheriff's office began following a vehicle southbound on CTH Y. The investigator received a call from an informant stating they had spoken with Alan Schwartzbauer, asking the informant to turn on the scanner and listened for anything around the Straight 8 Bar. The informant explained that Schwartzbauer and another individual planned to break into the Straight 8 Bar. The informant also commented that they would be traveling in a dark SUV, most likely a Chevy Trail Blazer.
The owner of the Straight 8 bar who was in the basement of the establishment, heard breaking glass. Officers arriving on the scene discovered a broken window and at least one gambling machine had been broken into, likely with bolt cutters. The suspect had fled on foot after hearing the owner in the basement.
While searching for the suspect, officers saw a dark colored Chevy Trail Blazer in the area. A registration check revealed the vehicle was licensed to Alan Schwartzbauer's sister-in-law. The male driver of the vehicle, Greg Schwartzbauer, Alan's brother, was taken into custody on a Burnett County warrant and lied to investigators about his name.
A radio scanner and a large knife were located in the vehicle. The knife matched a description of a knife observed on surveillance during a burglary at the Otis Bar on Sept. 25, where subjects used the knife to pry open the cash register.
Investigators located a glove and baseball hat believed to be dropped by the suspect. An informant contacted one of the officers, stating that they had been contacted by Alan Schwartzbauer, who made reference to "cops being everywhere" and his brother being arrested.
Burnett County Investigators interviewed a pair who said they provided Schwartzbauer with bolt cutters on Oct. 5 at the parking lot of Wal-Mart.
Alan Schwartzbauer was arrested on a traffic stop Oct. 9 in Polk County. Schwartzbauer denied involvement in the burglaries, stating that he was with his cousin when the Cedar Creek Inn and Straight 8 burglaries occurred. His sister later refuted the story.
A person living south of the Straight 8 bar told officers that he located large bolt cutters on his property Oct. 9 or 10. The bolt cutters resembled the cutters allegedly used in the Straight 8 break in.
In a Nov. 22 interview with investigators, Greg Schwartzbauer admitted to picking up Alan Schwartzbauer in Cushing. Greg confirmed that Alan was wearing a camouflage shirt and was in possession of a large pair of bolt cutters. At a stop at a gas station to buy groceries, Greg asked Alan where he had acquired the cash he observed, and Alan stated he had just committed a burglary in Star Prairie.
Greg dropped Alan and another individual off at the Straight 8 bar. A short time later, Greg received a phone call from Alan and the other individual that they were on the run from the police. Cell phone logs corroborate the times.
The third individual remains on the run from law enforcement and is believed to be in Minnesota. Alan Schwartzbauer is in custody. Greg Schwartzbauer is out of custody and a court summons is being requested.