An initial appearance was scheduled to resume April 2 for a homeless man living in Elkhorn charged with breaking into a downtown consignment shop and stealing clothes.

Patrick J. Christensen, 50, was charged March 26 in Walworth County Circuit Court with robbery with the use of force, burglary of a building or dwelling and misdemeanor battery.

According to the criminal complaint, the owner of the Happy Consignment on South Wisconsin Street said she smelled smoke in the store at about 2:30 p.m. and went into the basement of the building to investigate. In the basement, she saw a man hiding behind a rack of clothes, according to the complaint. The woman said she called out to the man, who ran toward the back basement door wearing clothes from her store and carrying a purse from the store, according to the complaint.

The woman chased the man and told him to give the clothes back. She tried to pull a coat away from the man, who pulled her hair, pushed her down the stairs and then held the door shut so she couldn’t get out, according to the complaint. When the man let go of the door, the woman opened it and saw him run down an alley, according to the complaint.

The woman identified the man as Christensen in a photo lineup.


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