MERRILL - Three men will sit in the Lincoln County jail this weekend while they wait to be charged in a string of burglaries Friday morning.
The burglaries happened on East Main Street in Merrill.
Merrill Police can't release many details yet, including their names.
So far, we've learned from neighbors they stole an F-150 truck and something they probably didn't expect to.
"God does work in mysterious ways sometimes," said Clifford Baker, who lives on East Main Street.
It seems that both God and three burglars were at work in Baker's neighborhood early this morning.
"About 5:30 this morning, my brother went down to let his dog out before he went to work and noticed his truck was gone," said Baker's neighbor, Amy Laflin. "He called the police right away, they showed up a few minutes later responding to a number of calls in the area."
Laflin called Baker around 6:30 to tell him about the robbery, but it wasn't until about two hours later he noticed the burglars had come to his property, too.
"They were actually in our garage and in our vehicles, and that's a little unnerving, because they're not invited and then they helped themselves to things they thought were important – which are important to us," Baker said.
The burglars Baker's SUV, probably thinking that the backpacks inside had laptops. But they were in for a little surprise.
"Well we are Jehovah's Witnesses, and what we had in our vehicles that were taken were our book bags that we carry with us when we go out in the door-to-door ministry," he said. "I'm assuming that the perpetrators that got into the vehicles, when they saw the bags, of course they're laptop computer bags, they probably assumed there were laptops in the bags and off they went with them. Unfortunately for them, it wasn't laptops."
By 9:15 Friday, police found Laflin's brother's car in Shawano County. They also have Baker's backpacks, but they're holding them for evidence.
Maybe they got the news that we often try to spread from door-to-door," Baker said. "As long as we have our things back, we're content with that."
The three suspects are due in Lincoln County Court Monday afternoon.
- We take our Long Summer Weekend to Tomahawk to bring you the following stories:
We talk to the Tomahawk School District superintendent and a parent about how the district is getting input from the community regarding an application for a state grant for security upgrades in their school.
We'll show you how the Tomahawk Clay Busters youth team is teaching kids trap shooting and gun safety at an early age.
And the Tomahawk police chief is staying loyal to the Pittsburgh Steelers even here in Packer country. We'll show you how the avid Steelers fan exhibits his support for his team and talk to him about how it's being received by the community and his wife...who is a Cowboys fan.
We'll bring you the details on these stories and more on our Long Summer Weekend tonight on Newswatch 12 - news from where you live,
MADISON - Wisconsin Elections Commission staff plan to hire a half-dozen new employees and upgrade software to bolster election security.
The commission received a $7 million federal grant in March to upgrade security after Russian actors tried to access a state Department of Workforce Development system before the 2016 election.
Staff told the commission Thursday that the Department of Administration has approved hiring six new four-year security positions, including an information technology project manager, an elections security trainer and a voting systems specialist.
MADISON - The Wisconsin Elections Commission has agreed to lift overseas ballot restrictions to avoid a legal battle.
The U.S. Department of Justice warned earlier this month that it's preparing to sue because Wisconsin law doesn't let temporary overseas voters to obtain ballots electronically or to submit downloadable back-up ballots in case they don't have time to return an official ballot.
Federal law allows all overseas voters to obtain ballots electronically and submit back-up ballots. Assembly Republicans passed a bill that would have aligned Wisconsin's statutes with the federal law but the measure died in April after Senate Republicans added language limiting special legislative elections.
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