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Armed robbers target dog-walkers in Pabst Park neighborhood

July 28, 2009

Armed robbers tried to get money from two Wauwatosa residents, who were outside with their dogs in the Pabst Park neighborhood.

Laura Schleif was walking her Chihuahua at 62nd and Lloyd streets, a few blocks from her home, at 10:30 p.m. July 21. She noticed a group of six boys walking toward her, but did not give it much thought.

"I'm used to seeing kids outside walking or riding their bikes in that area at that time of night," she said. "I was busy paying attention to my dog, so I just stepped out of their way."

One of the boys put what she thought was a gun to the back of her head and said "give me everything you got." When she said she had no money, he searched her pockets but came up with nothing and left.

By the time she had walked home, Schleif was shaking and crying, but didn't immediately call police. She never saw the gun and said it felt like it may have been plastic, so she told herself "maybe it was a really bad prank" and the boys were likely long gone.

Co-workers encouraged her to file a report the next day, when she learned another similar incident occurred in the same neighborhood.

The second victim could not be reached for comment, but according to the Wauwatosa police report:

A man who lives in the 2100 block of North 62nd Street had taken his dog outside at 10:55 p.m. July 20. As he stood in his driveway a young man pointed a gun at the homeowner and told him not to move.

The dog saw the would-be robber and ran at him barking loudly, so the guy fled.

Schleif said the incidents have not made her scared to live in Wauwatosa, but have made her more aware of her surroundings.

"I'm not going to stop caring for my dog, but I'm keeping a closer eye on who is around me and taking pepper spray with me on walks," she said. "We're also making sure all of our doors are locked at night."

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