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Gazing ball bandit busted, authorities say; Hundreds of lawn ornaments recovered

WHITEHALL, Wis. – Dozens Wisconsin residents were reunited with their lawn ornaments Thursday after police recovered thousands that had been stolen over several years by one person.

In late September, the Trempealeau County Sheriff's Office responded to a theft in the town of Arcadia. The victim in that case was able to lead police to a suspect's home in Independence.

A search warrant of that person's home revealed thousands of stolen items, including dozens of gazing balls.

Police say the majority of the stolen items appeared to be from cemeteries and residential lawns in multiple counties over the last two to three years.

"It's not something that any agency expects to walk into. We were expecting to walk in and find 10-15 things and it snowballed from there. It's not a person you would expect," Independence Police Chief Derrick Vold explained.

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