Sunday, June 3, 2012

Sun Fair Vendors Ripped Off By Thieves On Early Sunday Along Mitchell Street

Photo: HNG

Security lapse between 6:00 a.m. to 7:00 a.m. allowed a group of about ten thieves to steal, soda, food, stuff animals and other items from Sun Fair vendors.

By H. Nelson Goodson
June 3, 2012

Milwaukee - Police on Sunday continued to investigate the largest rip-off that has hit the W. Historic Mitchell Street Sun Fair, since it began to hold an outdoor festival last year along Mitchell Street. On Sunday morning, Jorge López, co-owner of López Bakery, who participated in the three day Sun Fair reported that a cooler from his vendor's tent was stolen and might have been used by thieves to carry food and sodas stolen from other booths.
An estimated $5,000 to $7,000 worth of items were taken and a Milwaukee police report should be released by Monday. An officer who didn't want to be identified confirmed that a vendor's booth by the old Goldmanns building had the side of a tent slashed open and items were scattered all over in the morning. Another vendor reported that about $5,000 worth of stuff animals were stolen from their booth. A jewelry vendor also had all the items stolen from the booth, according to a Sun Fair organizer.
Other items reported stolen from various booths were sodas and food. No cash has been reported missing as of yet.
López said, that two private security guards with a dog finished their shift and left around 6:00 a.m. and left an hour open without security until vendors arrived to get ready for Sunday's final day of the festival. The festival ends at 10:00 p.m. on Sunday.
Between 6 a.m. to 7 a.m., a group of thieves struck along the three block festival area and stole thousands of dollars of merchandise and items. It seemed to be a coordinated ripp-off, according to police. Police are looking at surveillance video from local businesses to see, if they can identify any of the Sun Fair thieves.
One of the key organizers of the Sun Fair who didn't want to be identified said, security had moved to another area while patrolling the festival and apparently the thieves took advantage that security were down the block and struck. The thieves took a lot less then what was reported by vendors, but the organizer could not confirm how much worth of merchandise, jewelry, soda and food was taken.
The organizer said that last year, the mechanical games brought in about $150,000 alone and estimated last Saturday's crowd attendence at 11,000 and for Sunday at 10,000 festivalgoers. The second annual event is considered the southside's largest street carnival. Sun Fair was sponsored by the Mitchell Street Business Improvement District #4.

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