POLK COUNTY — Charges have been filed against a suspect following recent Clear Lake garage break-ins.

Felony charges have been filed against John Wayne Thatcher, of Star Prairie, WI, after a police investigation revealed Thatcher as the suspect in the recent garage break-ins near Clear Lake, WI.

DrydenWire.com reported on February 21, 2019 that the Clear Lake Police Department was alerting the community to the garage break-ins that were reported to have occurred on February 18 and 19, and also asking residents to report any similar incidents.

Items listed as missing from the garage that was broken into on February 18 included an air compressor, cordless tool set, and stereo speakers. Officers found footprints outside of that garage.

Missing from the second garage that was broken into on February 19 were a homemade tool box and cordless tools. Footprints were also found in the snow outside of the second garage, and a trail of footprints led to a neighboring garage (which was locked).

According to a probable cause report the Clear Lake Police Department placed an inquiry check on the property that had been reported stolen, and received confirmation that some of the items had been pawned in Minnesota by John W. Thatcher.

On February 22, 2019, a search warrant was obtained for Thatcher’s residence. Thatcher arrived at the residence shortly after law enforcement arrived to execute the warrant.

The probable cause report goes on to state that officers found the stolen homemade wooden tool box and some of the power tools that had been reported as stolen.

Thatcher allegedly told the officers that he had gone to Clear Lake to collect scrap because he needed money to bail his girlfriend out of jail. Thatcher allegedly admitted to the break-ins, and told the officers that he had already pawned some of the items.

Inside the residence, officers also found needles loaded with methamphetamine and gem bags that contained white powder residue which tested positive for methamphetamine.

John Thatcher


Online circuit court records show that Thatcher is charged with two counts of Class F Felony Burglary-Building or Dwelling, two counts of Misdemeanor Theft of Movable Property, Class I Felony Possession of Methamphetamine, and Misdemeanor Possession of Drug Paraphernalia. These charges were filed against Thatcher with a Repeat Offender penalty enhancer.

If convicted of the charges as filed against him, Thatcher could face a possible maximum sentence of 30 years confinement in state prison.

At a bail bond hearing on February 25, 2019, Thatcher was placed on a $10,000 cash bail bond. Thatcher is scheduled to have a preliminary examination hearing in March 2019.

While investigating this case, officers also learned that Tanya Coen of Centuria, WI, had been living in Thatcher’s residence and charges were also filed against her for Class I Felony Possession of Methamphetamine (Party to a Crime), Class H Felony Bail Jumping, and Misdemeanor Possession of Drug Paraphernalia (Party to a Crime).

Tanya Coen


Online circuit court records show that Tanya also has pending charges for Class H Felony Operating While Intoxicated 4th Offense, Class I Felony Possession of Methamphetamine, Class H Felony Operate With Restricted Controlled Substance 4th Offense, and Misdemeanor Possession of Drug Paraphernalia in a separate case filed against her in Polk County Circuit Court in September 2018.

On February 18, 2019, according to online circuit court records, Tanya appeared in Polk County Circuit Court while in custody on a warrant regarding her OWI charges, and the Court placed her on a $150 cash bail bond. On February 19, 2019 that cash bond was posted.

A hearing was held on February 25, 2019 for Tanya on her new charges, and the Court placed her on a $5,000 cash bail bond. Tanya is scheduled to have a preliminary examination hearing on her new charges in March, 2019, and a plea hearing on her OWI charges in April 2019.

Pursuant to the direction of the Wisconsin Supreme Court, as found in Supreme Court Rule 20:3.6, Trial Publicly, you are advised that a charge is merely an accusation and that a defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty.


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