The Street

From vile meth labs to safecrackers, the Street has the Valley covered

End of story? Hardly. While Windish's alleged co-conspirators remain in jail because of felony probation violations and outstanding warrants, Mr. Windish apparently again is among us, according to Maricopa County Superior Court records. Lisa Roberts, a court commissioner, released the purported ringleader on his own recognizance over the strong objections of Detective Earl Fisher, who had been part of the surveillance team. "He told the judge that we were dealing with a career criminal here and that our case was solid," Lieutenant Gray says. "Apparently, that didn't matter." A court spokesperson says Roberts followed bond-setting "guidelines" in releasing Windish -- who faces a felony theft charge if he makes it back to court in a few weeks.

Safecracker's Sequel

A sad side note to the above safecracker caper: One of the key surveillance detectives on the case was Don Briese, who works in the Northern Command under Lieutenant Gray. On Sunday night, August 24, just hours after he and his police pals busted Windish and company, Briese's 40-year-old brother, Kim, was murdered, allegedly by a neighbor, in the area of 5000 West Thomas. It happened after Kim had been watching a pay-per-view wrestling event at another neighbor's home. Phoenix police later shot and killed the suspect after he wounded the other two neighbors with whom he'd been watching the tube, then fired a shotgun at a fire truck responding to the scene. Detective Briese is a well-liked veteran who came to police work late (in his 30s) after an earlier career as a manager for a grocery store.

Bad scene: Wittman meth lab
Patti Epler
Bad scene: Wittman meth lab

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