Racine's Hispanic community is being warned about a Puerto Rican man allegedly burglarizing the homes of illegal immigrants in the Geneva and Hamilton neighborhood, according to Racine Police Sgt. Jessie Nethery.
He said the burglaries usually occur during the day; the suspect "comes by the day before banging on all the doors and hollering to see if anyone answers…if no one does he kicks in a door or punches out a window and steals whatever he can carry and easily sell."
Sgt. Nethery said the man sought is named Ivan Rivera, but said police do not have probable cause to arrest him, despite strongly believing he is the burglar. "Many of the victims recall a 'Puerto Rican accented man' coming around the day before or shortly before the burglary asking questions, banging on their doors etc.
"We have many burglaries that were reported but believe there are many more that are unreported. We believe he targets the illegals thinking that they won’t call the police for fear we will find out their status. We are NOT concerned with their legal status. They are victims and we would appreciate anyone’s help in prosecuting Ivan. He is also known to walk around selling items to illegals for cheap prices," Sgt.Nethery said. Several warrants have been issued for Rivera, he said, encouraging the Hispanic community to call police with his whereabouts. He is said to be a heroin addict and may be dangerous. He has been known to stay on Reeds Court and ML King, and usually is on foot or on a bike.
Nethery says he has spread the word around the community. "Everyone I’ve spoken to seems to know it's him and know what he is doing, yet he is still getting away with it."