Brown County SWAT brought in.
Inset is Chad Michael Setunsky and Ashley Michelle Niewierowski
Convenience Store Burglars Caught After 2-Day Chase
After leading officers on a 2-day chase in the Athelstane area, two suspects believed to have burglarized the Country Convenience Store at the junction of Parkway Road and County W west of Crivitz were captured. They are now being held in Marinette County Jail in lieu of $1 million and $250,000 cash bond respectively.
During the chase, one of the suspects fired shots at a pursuing squad car. Facing multiple charges as a result of events that began with the break-in at 3:43 a.m. on Saturday, April 8 are Ashley Michelle Niewierowski and Chad Michael Setunsky, both 27, and both listing Lot 559 of the trailer park at 3400 Pierce Ave., Marinette as their address.
The pair made brief initial appearances via video camera from the jail without legal counsel on Monday, April 10. Due to the severity of the charges, prior criminal record, "and the great likelihood that additional charges will be filed," Judge David Miron set $1 million cash bail for Setunsky and $250,000 cash bail for Niewierowski.
Niewierowski was fined for possession of synthetic cannabinoid in January of 2015, and for a Disorderly Conduct charge in 2010.
Setunsky, in May of 2008 was sentenced by Judge Tim Duket in Marinette County Circuit Court to five years in state prison followed by five years of extended supervision after pleading no contest to a Felony G count of endangering safety by reckless use of a weapon. Other charges were dismissed but read into the record as part of a plea agreement, with the understanding they could be considered in any future sentencing.
Due to lack of funds, Judge Miron instructed the two defendants to contact the Public Defender's office as soon as possible to obtain legal counsel for completion of their initial appearances at 8:30 a.m. on Monday, April 17.
On Monday, April 10, the two were each charged by District Attorney Allen Brey with felony counts of burglary to a building or dwelling, fleeing or eluding an officer, and first degree recklessly endangering safety by use of a firearm. Brey and Assistant District Attorney DeShea Morrow indicated it is a near certainty that more charges will be added, including some connected with vehicle thefts. There are also misdemeanor counts of theft of movable property and criminal damage to property.
The burglary and reckless endangerment felony counts could each carry a penalty of 12 1/2 years in prison or fine of up to $10,000, in addition to lesser penalties that could be imposed for the remaining three counts.
According to Marinette County Sheriff Jerry Sauve, at 3:43 a.m. on Saturday, April 8, a Patrol Deputy discovered a burglary to the Corner Convenience Store in the Town of Stephenson. That Deputy radioed for another officer to assist him. The shift sergeant was not far away. While responding, he noticed two vehicles northbound on Parkway at a high rate of speed. He turned around and attempted to stop the second vehicle, but it would not stop. The pursuit went north on Parkway Road and during the pursuit the driver of the fleeing pickup truck fired shots from a hand gun at the pursuing officer, Sauve's report stated.
The fleeing pickup truck crashed off the road into a pole on the right just north of Twin Bridge County Park. At least two suspects fled on foot from the crashed truck and were believed to be armed and dangerous, the report stated.
As a result of investigative efforts that included a video tape made at the Country Convenience Store, two persons of interest were identified as Setunsky and Niewierowski, and photos were posted on the Marinette County Sheriff's Office Facebook page.
During the two day search for the suspects Marinette County was assisted by the Oconto County Sheriff's Office; Wisconsin State Patrol; DNR wardens; Marinette, Peshtigo, and Crivitz police; the Bear-Cat armored unit from Brown County and Green Bay Police; Bay Area Medical Center paramedics, and Twin Bridge Rescue.
Shortly before 1 p.m. on Sunday, April 9, Niewierowski was arrested near County C in the Town of Athelstane. At about 4:35 p.m. that day, Setunsky was arrested in a cabin south of County C. There were no injuries in the arrests.
"I would like to thank all of the multiple agencies who assisted us in this very lengthy, dangerous, and labor intensive investigation," Sauve declared, and added he also thanked members of the public for their cooperation.
Charges against the two were filed by Brey on Monday. April 10.
According to the investigation report, Deputy Sean Erdman noticed the broken front doors at the Country Convenience Store while he was on patrol at approximately 3:43 p.m. He noticed that the doors were open and an ATM Machine that had been there was taken. He notified other officers by radio, and the manager of the store was contacted and asked to come to the business.
Sgt. Chris Lesperance, on duty in a marked squad car, heard the message from Erdman and began traveling south on parkway, toward the store. Enroute, he saw two vehicles traveling north at about 60 miles per hour in a 45-mile zone. He turned around to follow them, and activated his emergency lights. The vehicles increased their speed and continued north on Parkway Road. During the chase, Sgt. Lesperance saw the driver of the vehicle closest to his, a pickup truck, lean out his driver's side window with his arm extended, holding a hand gun. He fired the gun twice at the vehicle Sgt. Lesperance was driving.
Finally the truck drove off the road and crashed into a pole. Sgt. Lesperance saw two people exit the vehicle and run into the woods. One of them returned to the vehicle, took something out of it, and then ran back into the woods.
Other officers arrived at the scene, and found that the truck displayed Michigan license plates, but it turned out that the plates were stolen. The truck was registered to a man in Green Bay, who told them he had sold the truck on Thursday, April 6 to Chad M. Setunsky.
"Your complainant knows through his work that Chad M. Setunsky has recently been released from prison," the report continued. Department of Corrections listed his address as 3400 Pierce Ave., Lot 54, Marinette.
City of Marinette Police officers went to that address and interviewed Maureen Delgoffe, who told them she lived there along with her daughter, Ashley M. Niewierowski, Setunsky, and her daughter's children.
Delgoffe told officers Setunsky was her daughter's boyfriend, and that he had bought a truck on April 6. She said the two had gone out on Friday night, April 7, and she stayed home watching the children. Setunsky and her daughter came home after midnight, but at about 1 a.m. they asked her to continue watching the children. They left the home in the truck Setunsky had purchased, saying they would be back in about two hours. They had not returned
Country Convenience store personnel confirmed the building had been broken into and the ATM machine was taken. The store has a video surveillance system. Officers were given a copy of the recordings, which showed a male and a female force their way through the doors with a crowbar, enter the store and remove the ATM machine. The video also showed a pickup truck at the store while the man and woman were inside, and then recorded them leaving in the vehicle. That truck matched the description of the crashed vehicle in the pursuit that followed.
In the crashed pickup truck officers found a crowbar, sledge hammer, a small personal headlamp, a backpack with hammers and battery powered tools. In the bed of the pickup truck they found small parts and pieces that were later determined to be from the ATM machine that was taken from the store.
The ATM machine itself was discovered on Orr's Lane which intersects with Parkway Road north of the Corner Convenience Store and south of where Sgt. Lesperance began following the pickup truck. The ATM machine had been broken into and the money was removed.
Searchers combed the area near the intersection of Marinette County Highways C and A in the Parkway Road area. Roads were closed as authorities swept through the area, weapons in hand, searching cabins and the woods for the two suspects.
When deputies arrested Niewierowski at about 1 p.m. on Sunday she had been fleeing and hiding for nearly two days.
"I didn't want to do any of this," she told officers as they arrested her.
Setunsky was arrested a few hours later in the same general area. "Both of our suspects are now in custody," said Sauve. "We believe the public is in a much safer state at this point."
Officers reportedly spent the searching the same area after finding a rifle, a stolen vehicle, and a stolen ATV that they believed were connected to the suspects. She lives in the area that was being searched by land and air.
Local residents said the area was being searched by land and air with both planes and helicopters circling overhead. A Coast Guard helicopter had joined in the search and before it ended over a dozen agencies were involved. During the search, some residents were told if they left their homes they would not be allowed to return until the chase ended.
"It's a been a long few days and I'm just proud of all of our people and everyone that helped us out this weekend because this was a dangerous situation," Sauve said. "The situation could have ended much worse." Neither the suspects nor any officers were injured during the arrests.
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