Selfie leads police to burglary suspect

Police: Stolen property recovered taken from 9 different burglaries

A selfie taken at the scene of a burglary led to the arrest of three people on Monday in Black River Falls.

Just after midnight on Tuesday, October 23, Black River Falls police and Jackson County authorities responded to an active burglary alarm at the Wazee Sports Center. Police searched the building and did not find any suspects, but they did find a large knife and a cell phone left behind.

Police said surveillance video from inside the building confirmed that the suspect had armed himself with the knife after he entered the business. Upon executing a search warrant for the phone, an officer found a picture of the suspect, Nicholas Thorson. The 19-year-old photographed himself at the scene of the burglary, police said. Investigators obtained a driver’s license photograph of Thorson and confirmed his identity.

On Monday, police received a complaint of fraudulent checks that were being cashed at the Co-Op Credit Union in the City of Black River Falls. Police said 37-year-old Dawn Anderson assisted Thorson in attempting to cash a check made payable to her. Authorities also believe Anderson enlisted her 17-year-old son in cashing another check made payable to herself.

Black River Falls police found that Thorson had cashed the check in question and was a suspect in other recent burglaries. The checks were stolen from a burglary that happened several weeks ago.

Police executed a search warrant at Anderson’s address, at an apartment on South 1st Street in Black River Falls at about 5:20 p.m. They found a “plethora of items stolen in area burglaries inside the residence, including the stolen bank checks.”

Police logged about 70 pieces of stolen property and later discovered that the items were stolen in nine different burglaries. One of those happened outside of the City of Black River Falls.

A young child was removed from Anderson’s residence and placed with Human Services and the residents were arrested. Anderson is being held on charges ranging from forgery, possession of stolen property, party to a crime. Her 17-year-old son is also being held on charges of party to crime- forgery and party to a crime- theft.

Thorson is being held on eight felony counts of burglary to dwelling, armed robbery and other charges that Black River Falls police said will be submitted to the Jackson County District Attorney’s Office for review.

“I suspect there will be further arrests and more property recovered in these burglaries,” Black River Falls Police Chief Patrick LaBarbera stated. “This was a team effort by our guys and the officers certainly stepped up to the plate on this investigation, it was a job well done.”