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Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen Shares Recent "Success Stories" from the Wisconsin Crime Alert Network (WCAN)


A WCAN alert issued yesterday resulted in the arrest of a suspect for retail theft.


MADISON — Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen is pleased to share some of the recent successes of the Wisconsin Crime Alert Network (WCAN), an instant alert messaging network designed for law enforcement, business and the general public.


Yesterday, the Lodi Police Department issued a WCAN alert for a retail theft that occurred on October 2, 2012, at a hardware store. A surveillance photo of the man, suspected of stealing almost $500 worth of merchandise, was attached to the alert. Within an hour of sending out the alert, Lodi Police received a call from the Sauk County Sheriff's Department with information about the identity of the suspect in the photo. After receiving the tip from law enforcement, Lodi Police interviewed the identified suspect, recovered the stolen property and made an arrest.


“As a police chief, I find this to be an incredibly powerful tool for connecting local law enforcement,” Lodi Police Chief William Laughlin said. “This incident was our first time using the WCAN, and without it, we may not have identified a suspect so quickly and recovered the stolen goods for our local business.”


“This is an excellent example of how the Crime Alert Network can be used effectively and efficiently across jurisdictions to solve crimes and protect local business,” Attorney General Van Hollen said. “I'm thankful to our law enforcement partners and the business community for their support of this new tool to fight and prevent crime.”


On September 21, 2012, the Village of Big Bend Police Department issued an alert through the WCAN in reference to a sexual assault that occurred a day earlier. The victim had reported being sexually assaulted by an individual who was selling magazines door-to-door the afternoon of September 20, 2012.


The Mukwonago Police Department received the alert, and then contacted Big Bend police to report that a resident had contacted their department to report a door-to-door salesman whose behavior was suspicious. The individual's description matched the description of the suspect involved in the assault in Big Bend. Mukwonago police located a group of door-to-door magazine salespeople who were in the area and worked for the same company as the suspect. This groupprovided information about the locationof the suspect, who was arrested on September 22, 2012, by the Milwaukee Police Department.


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:


The WCAN also is hosting free crime prevention webinars for subscribers. A flyer about the trainings currently scheduled is available at the following link: WCAN Webinar Flyer


A surveillance photo of the man can be found here:


2012 file: