Burglar tackled on video gets sentenced

Posted at 10:43 PM, Nov 23, 2015
and last updated 2015-11-23 23:43:20-05

MILWAUKEE -- The man whose burglary spree ended when an elected official tackled him was sentenced Monday. Robert Pettis received six years in prison and he’s required to pay back more than $2,000 to four businesses he robbed. 

Pettis appeared nervous when the judge read his sentence inside the Milwaukee County Courthouse Monday.  His hands were visibly shaking in the courtroom as he told the judge he was sorry.  Pettis blamed his actions on mental health issues, including bi-polar disorder and anxiety, and a substance abuse problem. 

Pettis robbed several business between November 2014-February 2015.  Elm Grove Police followed him to Greendale using a GPS, where several law enforcement agencies spent around seven hours searching for the burglar in a strip mall. When Pettis tried to escape officers Greendale Village President Jim Birmingham tackled the Mukwonago man.

"Glad to hear that finally he’s coming to justice. It took a long time here we’ve all been kind of waiting I think we’re all kind of relieved some of the stores across the street were still out their money from that crime because it could not be released until this was all done so I’m just happy that another criminal is set aside," said Jim Birmingham, Greendale Village President. 

Birmingham got a few bumps and bruises in the process, but says it was worth it.

Pettis has two other open burglary cases, one in Wauwatosa County and the other in Ozaukee County.