Suspect in custody after cross-county crime spree

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Published: Jun. 9, 2021 at 12:50 AM CDT|Updated: Jun. 9, 2021 at 5:29 PM CDT
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MADISON, Wis. (WMTV) - An Illinois man is accused of shooting his way into a Rock Co. house Tuesday afternoon and attacking the two people so he could steal their truck in the midst of a five-hour crime spree that spanned both sides of Wisconsin’s southern border.

The stretch of crimes did not end until members of the Rock Co. Sheriff’s Office and Winnebago Co. (Ill.) Sheriff’s Office captured Bryan Robert Burns around 9:30 p.m. in a marshy area near the scene of the last in a series of crashes during that time.

According to the Sheriff’s Office, events began shortly before 4:30 p.m. in the Town of Bradford when Rock Co. deputies responded to a reported hit-and-run at the intersection of S. State Hwy. 140 and Larsen Rd. One of the vehicles involved, a white Chevrolet Suburban, which had been reported stolen in Genoa City earlier in the day, raced away from the scene after the crash.

Approximately two hours later, deputies were called to another wreck, this time at W. State Hwy. 81 and S. Co. Hwy. K, in the Town of Newark, the report continued. A witness told investigators someone had stopped to help and one of the drivers involved in the collision stole the Good Samaritan’s red Toyota Tacoma pickup truck.

As they were investigating that incident, the Sheriff’s Office learned of the break-in at a home on N. State Hwy. 104, in the Town of Magnolia, that started when Burns allegedly fired a shotgun blast into a lock to force his way in. He then proceeded to attack the two people who were there as he took their vehicle. While at that home, investigators found another stolen vehicle, taken from a different home in the same town.

Deputies ended up finding the red pickup taken from the Good Samaritan around 8 p.m. It was just across the Illinois border, crashed into a ditch at the intersection of W. State Line Rd. and S. Nelson Road. After about an hour of searching, deputies tracked down Burns in the nearby marsh and took him into custody.

He was taken to a nearby hospital and arrested on a count of Robbery while Armed, however more counts are expected.

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