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Serial burglar charged with break-in

James Bickle
James Bickle
Lesli Pluster (Download MP3)

WAUSAU, Wis. (WSAU) – A serial burglar has been charged with breaking into a Wausau home last month then running away from police after the homeowner scared him off.

Judge Mike Moran ordered James Bickle held on a $10,000 cash bond. Bickle is charged with burglary, criminal damage to property and two counts each of obstructing and resisting an officer. A preliminary hearing is set for next Wednesday.

Homeowner Richard Chartier found Bickle inside his home October 24th on the 3100 block of East Wausau Avenue. Chartier had just returned from shopping and heard a noise in the living room. Bickle nodded his head when Chartier asked if Bickle was robbing him, according to court documents.

Bickle sped off on a bike. Police caught up to him and Tased him twice. He pulled a sheriff's deputy to the ground and was able to get away. But Deputy Bill Millhausen tore the ACL in his right knee and suffered complications from reconstructive surgery Tuesday. He will not be cleared to fully return to work for nine months to a year.

Police could not find Bickle for a week. They eventually tracked him down October 31st to the Wausau Gun and Loan store on Business Highway 51 in Schofield. Deputies Tased Bickle before they could arrest him.

Chartier identified Bickle in a photo lineup after his arrest. And two different police canines tracked Bickle’s scent at Chartier’s home and in a wooded area nearby where he fled.

Bickle is on parole for prior burglary convictions.

“There’s just too much history here and too much of an allegation of resisting law enforcement,” Moran said in setting bond.