Stolen property recovered; 4 charged

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More arrests expected as investigation continues
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Mark Gerow of Mountain is one of four people charged after search warrants were executed in northern Oconto County on Oct. 19. (Oconto County Jail photo)

Four people have been charged in Oconto County Circuit Court as a result of an investigation into a rash of thefts, burglaries and drug trafficking in northern Oconto County this spring and summer.

The suspects were arrested after a multi-jurisdictional team executed search warrants at four properties on the morning of Oct. 19, Sheriff Mike Jansen announced Friday. Two warrants were in the town of Mountain, one was in Lakewood and one was in Doty, he said.

“The warrants yielded numerous articles of stolen property that are believed to have been taken during reported thefts and burglaries,” Jansen said. “Also, drugs and drug paraphernalia were seized.”

The suspects:

Paul F. Cleereman, 21, and his wife, Georgena Vladik, 29, Lakewood, are each charged with bail jumping and two counts of theft of movable property.

Mark Gerow, 55, Mountain, faces two felony and one misdemeanor count of theft, and one felony count each of altering or removing a vehicle identification number, maintaining a drug trafficking place and possession of narcotic drugs.

Rock Gerow, 60, Mountain, is charged with possession of narcotic drugs and two counts of bail jumping.

According to the criminal complaints, a number of thefts and burglaries in the area were under investigation, including the theft of a golf cart and other items from a cabin in the town of Riverview on May 26, and a zero-turn lawn mower that was stolen from a home July 30.

The search warrants were obtained after the golf cart was spotted on Cleeremans’ Fairway Circle property in late September and again in mid-October, the complaints said. The search also yielded the mower and other items.

The Gerows’ property on West Shore Drive in Mountain was also searched that morning, which yielded two kayaks that had been reported stolen from a garage in the town of Riverview in August along with drugs and drug paraphernalia. The kayaks were found hidden underneath a pontoon boat in the water.

The other search warrants were for properties along state Highway 32-64 in Mountain and County Road T in Doty.

Vladik told an interviewer that Mark Gerow had brought the golf cart and mower to store on their property, the complaint said.

The day before the warrants were executed, Lt. Matt Morrissey of the Oconto County Sheriff’s Department made a traffic stop on Rock Gerow’s van after it “rolled through a stop sign” at Klaus Lake and Gillett Town Hall Road. Deputies found a syringe and needle in his possession and eight morphine pills secreted inside a cigarette pack, according to the complaint.

According to court records, Gerow had been scheduled to stand trial Oct. 4 for a 2016 arrest when he was charged with possession of narcotic drugs and methamphetamine precursors, but the trial was canceled after new charges were filed on the day of the final pre-trial hearing. The two counts of bail jumping allege violation of the conditions of bail from those cases.

Bond has been set at $10,000 cash each for the Gerows and $5,000 cash each for Cleereman and Vladik. Rock Gerow is due back in court on Nov. 14, and the others have court appearances scheduled Nov. 9.

As the investigation continues, more arrests are expected, Jansen said.

The Sheriff’s Office received assistance from: the Oconto Falls, Suring and Marinette police departments; the Marinette, Forest and Langlade county sheriff’s departments; and the Wisconsin State Patrol, Department of Natural Resources and Department of Justice Division of Criminal Investigation, he said.

Jansen said anyone with any information about thefts, burglaries or drug activity in northern Oconto County can call 920-834-6925.