A man who has been called Milwaukee’s “bathroom bandit” was arrested last week after allegedly stealing thousands of dollars of plumbing supplies in city bathrooms.
Corey Feerick, a 33-year-old resident of Brookfield, is accused of stealing from numerous bathrooms, including some on Marquette’s campus. Feerick allegedly stole flush valves, valued at $400 each, and resold them.
Feerick was caught on the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee campus, where police arrested him. Marquette’s Department of Public Safety was not able to find Feerick in person, but DPS was able to spot Feerick with cameras and placed flyers with his picture around campus, specifically on bathroom doors.
Feerick is accused of snatching the flush valves in bathrooms at both UWM and Marquette. Both the Wehr Physics Building and Wehr Chemistry Building were targeted by the thief.
Police believe the suspect has some background in plumbing because he was able to turn off the water, take off the valves and leave within just a minute or two. Feerick is also known for carrying a backpack around to perform his robberies. This allowed him to not only transport his plumbing supplies but also to blend in with students around the college campuses in Milwaukee.
According to police officials, Feerick was able to reach close to 50 bathrooms around the city. Although his collections are worth thousands of dollars, the bandit was only able to make a few hundred dollars in profit. Some Milwaukee businesses even resorted to putting locks on the valves of the flushers to try to prevent future robberies.
He remains out of police custody while the district attorney reviews his case. Charges are expected by the end of the month.
Jack Lettenmair, a freshman in the College of Communication who has a class in Wehr Physics, said he felt uncomfortable knowing the robberies were happening.
“It makes me nervous to know someone is stealing items in a building where I am,” Lettenmair said. “It is especially nerve-wracking to know that items are being taken in a space where I have my own personal items.”
According to university protocol, when DPS does catch someone during a robbery, the department immediately calls the Milwaukee Police Department, which then takes the suspect in for questioning.
Lexi Tatooles, a freshman in the College of Arts & Sciences, said she thinks Marquette should have tighter regulations on who is allowed in university buildings.
“Campus saftey is one of the biggest concerns of the student body, and allowing for unauthorized (people) to be in buildings is frightening,” Tatooles said. “Hopefully, there won’t be a next time. But the best thing to do would be to enhance safety in classroom buildings like they do in the dorms.”