Man arrested in theft from horse theater
DELAVAN TOWNSHIP A local business owner who gained recognition for her singing parrot on NBC’s “America’s Got Talent” lost $5,000 in a weekend burglary, police say.
Delavan Township police accuse Rick A. Fores, 50, Milwaukee, of opening a safe and emptying desk drawers at the Dancing Horses Theatre, according to Walworth County court records.
The money was used to operate the theater and the Sugar Shack, a Lake Geneva strip club. Both are owned by Dana Montana, a colorful figure in the lakes area, according to court records.
Montana, a former Playboy bunny, is the author of the book “Sugar Shack: The Dana Montana Story.” She describes the theater on its website as a “fantastic cavalcade of equestrian artistry.”
Police say Fores was arrested in connection with the incident after police used a search warrant to inspect his home.
Police have referred charges of burglary, theft, criminal damage to property and making threats against Montana to the Walworth County District Attorney’s Office.
Fores was released from Walworth County Jail earlier this week on a $10,000 signature bond. His next court date is July 26.
According to a search warrant returned to Walworth County court:
Police were told Saturday of a possible burglary at Dancing Horses, 5020 Highway 50. Montana said she arrived at the business that morning to find the office broken into, $3,000 taken from the safe and $2,000 missing from a desk drawer.
Business files and computer equipment also were taken.
On the desk was a note that threatened to expose Montana to the Internal Revenue Service for tax evasion by giving business files to the government agency.
Montana told police that everything was fine in the office when she left Friday.
Police found a broken window in the office that they believe was where the burglar entered the building.
Fores is believed to be one of three people who know the combination to the safe. Montana told police that Fores was fired several weeks ago, and he continued to text Montana about getting his job back.
None of the reports said why Fores was fired.
Montana responded to a text by saying she was going to Hollywood, Calif., where “America’s Got Talent” is produced. Montana said they could discuss the matter when she returned.
Echo, a 15-year-old double yellow-headed Amazon parrot, was eliminated from the competition Wednesday night. Echo is affiliated with the theater’s Animal Gardens attraction.
Fores continued to send threatening texts. Police raided his Milwaukee apartment Monday, looking for the money, a computer and business files.
“When u take away someone’s livelihood and their ability to support their family I tend to lash out and go 4 the jugular,” a text from Fores to Montana said.
In the raid, police recovered a laptop with cords, a cell phone, a $50 bundle of $1 bills wrapped in an orange band, a $50 bundle of $1 and $5 bills wrapped in a red rubber band, a printer and $190 from Fores’ wallet.