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iowa police chief praises the wisconsin crime alert network (wcan) for helping to locate missing man


82-Year-Old Missing from Newton, Iowa, Located in Jefferson County, Wisconsin;

Convenience Store Attendant Recognized Man from WCAN Alert


MADISON — Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen is pleased to share how the Wisconsin Crime Alert Network (WCAN) and one of its subscribers played a key role in helping law enforcement in Newton, Iowa, locate an 82-year-old man missing from their community.


The evening of Tuesday, January 22, 2013, eighty-two year-old Junior Fowble was following the ambulance that was taking his wife to the hospital in Newton, Iowa.  He never arrived and was reported missing to Newton Police.


The next morning, after learning that Fowble was last seen on a Madison highway shortly after 8 am and out of gas, the Wisconsin Crime Alert Network (WCAN) issued a missing persons alert to law enforcement, businesses, the public and media.  With temperatures expected to dip into single digits and Fowble’s known medical condition, the situation grew more urgent and another WCAN Alert was issued shortly after 1 pm. 


At 1:16 pm, Fowble pulled into a Kwik Trip in Janesville and purchased $3 worth of gas.  Shortly after Fowble left the store, personnel at the Kwik Trip read the WCAN Alert, recognized Fowble and called police.  Kwik Trip, including all of its Wisconsin stores, is a member of the Wisconsin Crime Alert Network. 


Later the same day, two more WCAN Alerts went out, and shortly before 7:30 pm, Fowble pulled into a gas station in Johnson Creek, Jefferson County, where he was recognized from local media coverage and law enforcement was called.


“Time is critical any time a loved one goes missing.  This case illustrates the life-saving potential of the Wisconsin Crime Alert Network,” Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen said.  “It allows law enforcement agencies to communicate instantly with one another, the public at large and as evidenced by this case, local business.  I thank Kwik Trip for its support and commend the attendant who acted on the alert to help police locate this missing man.”


Newton Police Chief Jeff Hoebelheinrich wrote in a letter to Attorney General Van Hollen, “Had it not been for your Wisconsin Crime Alert Network, I dread thinking what would have happened to Mr. Fowble in the dead of winter as he drove without proper supplies and preparations.”


Please visit the following link to read the letter from Chief Hoebelheinrich, praising the use of the WCAN.  Letter from Newton Police Chief Jeff Hoebelheinrich


Since it became operational in fall of 2011, more than 1,100 Wisconsin Crime Alert Network alerts have gone out.  Crimes in which the WCAN has played a key role include sexual assaults, endangered missing persons, as well as cases of theft and robbery.  Officers report several cases that were solved within one hour of using the WCAN. 


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 following website


The WCAN also is hosting free crime prevention webinars for subscribers. The next scheduled training is Wednesday, March 6, 2013, from 1:30-2:15 pm.  It is entitled “Sex Offenders - What Every Person/Business Needs To Know” and it will cover who is required to register as a sex offender in Wisconsin and what information is reported, how community notification is determined, and how people can access sex offender registration information.  Visit for details.