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La Crosse man stole 174 firearms from Onalaska storage units, police say

La Crosse man stole 174 firearms from Onalaska storage units, police say

From the What you missed this week in notable La Crosse crimes and court cases series
Duncan Wisland mug


A La Crosse man was in court Friday after he was accused of stealing at least 174 firearms from two storage units earlier this year.

Duncan J. Wisland, 34, was charged in La Crosse County Circuit Court with two counts of burglary armed with a dangerous weapon, theft of a firearm, receiving a stolen firearm and felon in possession of a firearm, all as a repeat offender.

According to the criminal complaint, a licensed firearm dealer reported April 26 that someone had broken into two of his storage units at Galaxy Self Storage, 914 Commercial St., Onalaska. The owner of the storage facility told police the locks had been cut and replaced by different locks.

The firearms dealer told police he had last been in the units two and three weeks ago and reported 174 firearms, including 40 antique rifles and 40 handguns, had been stolen from his business, and additional firearms had been stolen from his personal collection, according to the complaint.

Onalaska police issued a crime alert for the missing firearms, and a Wisconsin State Trooper reported buying two of the stolen firearms from an Elk Mound, Wis., gun shop.

The owners of the shop turned over more than 100 of the stolen firearms Tuesday, saying they had purchased them from Wisland for about $20,000, according to the report. They were told that Wisland had won the storage unit in an auction reminiscent of “Storage Wars.”

On Wednesday, one of the owners assisted police with a controlled buy of additional firearms from Wisland at another storage unit at the intersection of Highways C and M in the town of Hamilton, which was rented out in Wisland’s name. Additional stolen firearms were found inside the unit, according to the complaint.

Wisland was previously convicted of multiple counts of burglary and driving a vehicle without the owner’s consent in 2015 in Vernon and La Crosse counties, and a count of felony theft in 2016.

Prosecutor Jessica Skemp asked for a cash bond, noting that Wisland had absconded twice while on extended supervision since he was released from prison in 2018. He was arrested twice for failing to comply with the conditions of his probation and the second time he was released March 18.

“I think that indicates very strongly that he’s a risk to not appear if a cash bond is not required,” Skemp said.

Judge Elliott Levine ordered a $10,000 cash bond. Wisland is also in custody in the La Crosse County Jail on a probation hold.

He is scheduled for a preliminary hearing via Zoom at 11 a.m. May 15.


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