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Alert from the Wisconsin Crime Alert Network (WCAN) Helps Police Develop Suspect in Sexual Assault Investigation


Suspect Arrested in Sexual Assault Investigation in the Village of Big Bend


MADISON — On September 21, 2012, the Village of Big Bend Police Department issued an alert through the Wisconsin Crime Alert Network (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 group provided information about the location of the suspect, who was arrested on September 22, 2012, by the Milwaukee Police Department.


“This was the first WCAN alert issued by the Big Bend Police Department, and through an alert citizen and old fashioned police work, combined with new technology, investigators were able to track down a suspect in this case and possibly, prevent further victimization,” Attorney General Van Hollen said. “Alerts like this one also serve to warn residents and business owners of possible criminal activity in their area, which shows the WCAN is about preventing crime as much as it is about solving it.”


With the WCAN, law enforcement officers issue alerts at no cost to them 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. Officers may choose from more than 50 categories, such as pharmacies or convenience stores, when issuing their targeted crime alerts across the county, a multi-county region or statewide.


The Wisconsin Department of Justice has launched, as part of its Public Education Program through the Wisconsin Broadcasters Association, radio and TV spots to promote the WCAN. You can watch the TV spot at the following web address: WCAN Audio and Video


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