Brewery break-ins: Police investigate burglaries at Broken Bat and Dead Bird Brewing

Brewery break-ins: Police investigate burglaries at Broken Bat and Dead Bird Brewing

MILWAUKEE (CBS 58) -- Milwaukee police are investigating after a string of break-ins near the downtown area.

Two of the businesses hit Sunday were popular breweries; Broken Bat Brewing Company in the Third Ward, and Dead Bird Brewing Company in Halyard Park.

"Our front door had been smashed in, a couple things had been stolen, office was rifled through," said Tim Pauly, the owner of Broken Bat.

Pauly told CBS 58 the suspect broke the glass door on Pittsburgh Avenue just after 10 a.m. on Sunday.

He believes the suspect only left with about $30, but he made out with more cash earlier that morning.

Dead Bird Brewing was broken into around 2:30 a.m. Owner Nick Kosas thinks they lost between $1,200-$1,500.

"They popped two or three arcade games, stole our cash drawer, and made off with our safe," Kosas said.

With no major damage, Dead Bird's taproom reopened that day.

"I think we were open when the police showed up. The way we're going to get out of this is just pour more beer," Kosas said.

The break-ins left both brewery owners with an uneasy feeling.

"It's a little disconcerting, my staff wants to be able to come in, be safe at work. It does feel a little bit of a violation," Kosas said.

Police collected security footage and DNA from both breweries, including blood from the broken glass at Broken Bat.

The suspect hasn't been identified as of Tuesday.

"Honest to God, if he would have just called the brewery and asked for a couple hundred bucks, I probably would have given it to him," Pauly said. "That's just how I was raised."

As they get back to business, both breweries said the community support has been great, and they're helping each other through the process.

"We're going to head there for a beer tonight, and they were in for a beer last night, so we're just trying to be there for each other," Kosas said. "It doesn't seem like he took beer from either place, which is kind of an insult if you're going to break into a brewery."

Broken Bat Brewing wants to thank a good Samaritan who helped the police get to the scene quickly.

Pauly said there was a woman who was getting coffee nearby and called police when she heard glass breaking.

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