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Handyman charged with stealing $10K in jewelry

Nov. 10, 2011

A Cudahy man who was hired by a Brookfield couple to do yard work and odd jobs around their Buena Vista Drive home has been charged with stealing nearly $10,000 in jewelry.

John C. Talaska, 31, faces more than 18 years in prison if convicted on felony counts of burglary and theft. He pleaded not guilty to the charges on Thursday and remains in Waukesha County Jail on $3,500 cash bond.

According to the criminal complaint:

A couple hired Talaska to do yard work and odd jobs around their home in the 2400 block of Buena Vista Drive on two days in October.

Soon after, the homeowners discovered that 14 pieces of jewelry, a $9,600 value, were missing from a bedroom and identified Talaska as a suspect.

Brookfield police learned that Talaska had sold numerous pieces of jewelry to a jeweler in Greenfield on three occasions in October for a total of $1,551.

Through photos the jeweler kept on record, the couple verified that the jewelry Talaska sold had been taken from their home.

Brookfield police arrested Talaska at his Cudahy home Nov. 2.

During a preliminary hearing on Thursday, Waukesha County Circuit Court Judge Martin Binn found probable cause to believe that Talaska committed a felony and ordered him to stand trial.

Talaska is scheduled to return to court for a hearing Dec. 2.

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