WISCONSIN DELLS — An employee arriving at an auto parts store earlier this week interrupted a burglary in progress that ended in two arrests and discoveries of multiple weapons and burglary tools inside a stolen car, authorities say.
Columbia County Sheriff Roger Brandner said deputies at 8:30 a.m. on Monday learned a burglary had been interrupted at a property owned by CarQuest in the town of Newport.
A CarQuest employee saw an open door and items located outside a maintenance shed.
The employee saw a woman slam the door as the employee drove closer to the shed. The woman and a man ran down the driveway toward Highway 16.
Authorities searched the property and found a stolen vehicle from Lake Delton. After searching the vehicle, officers confiscated burglary tools, drug paraphernalia, handcuffs, knives, multiple cellphones and a replica airsoft pistol.
Brandner said authorities arrested Mauston resident Jamie L. Price and Tonya M. Podoll, 41, of Baraboo.
Price and Podoll both face charges of violation of probation, trespassing, burglary, possession of burglary tools and criminal damage to property. They each had active arrest warrants.
The Wisconsin Dells Police Department, Lake Delton Police Department, Wisconsin State Patrol and Columbia County Emergency Response Team assisted the Columbia County Sheriff’s Office on the scene.
Several residents also assisted law enforcement by providing tips to officers about the suspects’ locations.
“Through the help of an observant CarQuest employee and other citizens in the area, this crime was quickly solved,” Brandner said.
Brandner is asking community members to continue to report any suspicious activity they see to local law enforcement.
Callers can remain anonymous and might be eligible for cash for clues, Brandner said.