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Wisconsin's New Crime Alert Network Working to Solve Crimes


“Wisconsin's Crime Alert Network is doing what it was designed to do – solve crime and protect communities,” Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen said.


MADISON — Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen is pleased to share some of the recent successes of the Wisconsin Crime Alert Network (WCAN), unveiled to Wisconsin residents only last fall.


“Wisconsin's Crime Alert Network is doing what it was designed to do – solve crime and protect communities. As I've said from the beginning, Minnesota law enforcement has solved an average of one crime a day with their network, and I'm confident we'll see more success stories as our new network of law enforcement and citizen partners grows,” Attorney General Van Hollen said.


On January 25, 2012, the Lake Delton Police Department sent out a WCAN alert to identify the owner(s) of approximately 50 antique items recovered from a Trespassing/Burglary case suspect in 2009. Due to the unique characteristics of the items, which included a copper fire extinguisher and a caliper, and the fact that for 2 ½ years the owners of this stolen property went unidentified, Lake Delton police decided to send out an alert asking for assistance. Within five minutes of issuing the alert, the Sauk County Sheriff's Department called Lake Delton PD to identify the owner and the burglary case connected to these items. Lake Delton is the same department that previously identified a convenience store burglary suspect with a WCAN alert.


On January 13, 2012, an alert was sent out on behalf of the Sun Prairie Police Department concerning “gas station drive-offs” totaling $1,100. The Sun Prairie Police Department had a suspect identified and was trying to determine if other gas stations had the same, or similar, thefts that could be tied to the suspect. Through various methods, including an alert that was distributed via the WCAN, several police departments responded to confirm similar incidents involving the same suspect. With the help of the WCAN alert, the Sun Prairie Police Department was able to charge its suspect with 25 counts of theft.


And, on January 10, 2012, the Sauk Prairie Police Department issued an alert concerning the armed robbery of a pharmacy. Sauk Prairie officers received numerous calls from other law enforcement in response to the alert that provided information that ultimately helped locate and arrest the suspect.


These incidents offer a snapshot of how the WCAN is being used to improve communications between agencies and, in many cases, their communities. With the WCAN, law enforcement officers issue alerts at no cost either by fax, e-mail or text message to individuals and business owners, who may enroll online to receive alerts at a cost of $12 a year.


To enroll or to learn more about the WCAN, visit the website below: