By Brandi Makuski
Two teenagers will be charged as adults after allegedly breaking into a Plover gas station twice then attempting to burn the evidence.
Brodie Logan Eide and Thie S. Tomarkin, both 17, were arrested by Plover police on the morning of Sept. 18 from Choices to Change, a rehabilitative group home for juveniles located in the south side of the village.
The two appeared via video from the Portage Co. Jail before Judge Thomas Eagon on Wednesday.
According to the criminal complaint, both teenagers snuck out of the group home after curfew on Sept. 15, and again on Sept. 17, and walked to the Plover Express Mart, 2621 Plover Rd., shortly after midnight on both dates. Video surveillance from the property showed the teenagers gained entry by throwing a rock at one of the glass entrance doors on Sept. 15. They reportedly shattered the second glass door in the same fashion on Sept. 17.
Police were notified of the Sept. 15 burglary by a store employee shortly before 4 a.m.; a passerby noticed the second broken door at about 1 a.m. on Sept. 17 and called 911.
Security footage inside the store shows the teens filling their backpacks with cartoons of cigarettes, packages of cigars, and alcohol from the convenience store’s cooler on Sept. 15. When they returned on Sept. 17, according to the complaint, they took more tobacco products as well as beef jerky, bottles of liquor, lighters, and one pair of sunglasses.
Plover Police Chief Dan Ault said the boys stole approximately $1,000 worth of merchandise on each night and were inside the store for less than two minutes.
Police were able to identify Eide from the security footage, the complaint said, and traced him to the group home. When interviewed, Eide admitted to detectives that he’d broken the glass doors with a rock on both nights, also saying he’d hidden at least some of the stolen merchandise inside the mattress in his bedroom.
Eide and Tomarkin then attempted to burn the clothing they wore on the night of the burglaries in a dumpster near the group home using lighter fluid, the complaint said, but the blaze was quickly extinguished by the Plover Fire Department.
Initial charges against the two include burglary, theft, and arson. Both boys have a juvenile record, but Assistant District Attorney Ryan Wetzsteon said he was most concerned with Tomarkin appearing for future court dates, saying the teen had a “very extensive juvenile record” including one conviction of criminal trespass, several theft charges, a charge of disorderly conduct while armed, and a pending auto theft charge in Outagamie Co.
Eagon ordered the boys held on a $2,500 signature bond. Both are prohibited from any contact with Plover Express Mart, must continue to attend school, and must adhere to a curfew of 6 p.m. to 6 a.m. unless they are working.
Both return to court on Oct. 1.