Crack That Case

TMJ4 viewers help nab apparent Backpack Bathroom Bandit

CREATED Jan. 23, 2013

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MILWAUKEE - He's know as the "Backpack Bathroom Bandit." He's accused of stealing thousands of dollars worth of plumbing out of area restrooms. For several months, a man ripped off flush valves from restrooms across southeast Wisconsin.

Now charges are pending against a Brookfield man accused of being the Backpack Bathroom Bandit.

Investigators say TODAY'S TMJ4 viewers led to the arrest. Back in December we first profiled the case on CRACK THAT CASE. The video showed a man entering and leaving bathrooms at fast food restaurants and community colleges in metro Milwaukee. The bandit always carried a backpack which police believe had tools to help him steal automatic flush valves.

"We can locate no other thefts from the airing of Crack That Case to roughly early January," said Sgt. Ray Radakovic with Greenfield Police.

It appears the bandit took time off after he was featured on Crack That Case. But in the early part of January 2013 the thefts started up again and with vengeance. Thirty restrooms at UWM and Marquette had flush valves stolen.

Police say the bandit stole from nearly 50 restrooms combined, and later arrested Cory Feerick.

The 33-year-old Brookfield man is accused of stealing the parts, valued at $400 each and re-selling them.

"We later found out he was actually selling them as scrap and we couldn't locate them because the scrap was labeled as brass," said Radakovic.

Then a tip came from a salvage yard owner in Milwaukee.

"If it wasn't for Crack That Case the person that was unintentionally buying these stolen flush valves would have never known that we were looking for him," said Radakovic.

The salvage yard owner told investigators he paid by weight, which means the "Bathroom Bandit" got a few hundred dollars for the valves worth thousands of dollars.

"We're unsure what he was using the money for exactly," explained Radakovic.

However, the bathroom bandit is now flushed out and police credit tips from Crack That Case viewers.

"It's been cracked and it's been cracked with the help of your show," said Radakovic.

Feerick is currently out of jail. The Milwaukee County district attorney is reviewing the case. Charges are expected by the end of the month.