A Cudahy man is facing charges for reportedly stealing money out of bar jukeboxes.
27-year-old Jeffrey Wilde allegedly had access to keys from his former employer. The owner of Reggie’s Amusement, a company that rents products to many local bars, told police a former employee allegedly emptied more than $1,000 out of jukeboxes at Racine County bars.
The criminal complaint takes us back to late February, when the owner of Reggie’s Amusement claims Wilde’s theft spree started at Burgey’s Pub and Prime in Caledonia. Patrons say the jukebox carries the tune all night.
“I get dollar donations for the jukebox all the time, and we play it a lot,” said Lori Otto of Greenfield.
Otto is talking about the same jukebox Wilde allegedly targeted to pad his wallet. Wilde used to work for Reggie’s Amusement as a driver who did services on machines the company rented out. The criminal complaint shows Reggie’s owner stated that Wilde “turned in his keys when he quit in May of 2015, but it is possible he has another set of keys."
Back at Burgey’s, the owner of Reggie’s found the jukebox was missing more than $130. The bar turned over surveillance video of two men working on the electronic machine for about 15 minutes, one matching the description of Wilde.
"Why steal from here?” questioned Otto.
The next incident allegedly happened just miles away at Fritz Tavern, where Wilde and another man reportedly told the bartender they were there for jukebox maintenance. More than $850 was found missing from the machine after they left.
The two then moved on to Cooler By The Lake Tavern, allegedly collecting another $200 from a jukebox, all caught on camera.
Along their alleged spree, the two men were reportedly heard saying, “that they have enough money to go to Potawatomi tonight."
"I can’t believe someone would do that, get another job,” said Otto.
Wilde is scheduled to appear for pre-trial in January. He faces three counts of misdemeanor theft and three counts of entry into a locked coin box.
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