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Stolen property is recovered within hours of officers issuing WCAN alert.
MADISON —Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen is pleased to announce the Wisconsin Crime Alert Network (WCAN) again has played a key role in helping local law enforcement solve another property crime within a matter of hours. Since it became operational in fall of 2011, more than 800 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.
Yesterday, the Village of Fall River Police Department issued a WCAN alert concerning a purse that was stolen from an unlocked vehicle. The purse contained credit cards, gift cards and cash. One credit card was used to make a purchase at a Beaver Dam business. The alert went out to retailers and law enforcement with photos of the suspect and a vehicle. In response to the alert, Fall River police were contacted by the Beaver Dam police officers who were able to identify the suspect in the theft. Fall River officers located and interviewed the suspect, obtained some of the stolen property, and the case is being referred for prosecution.
“Officer Zack Fredricksen did an excellent job with this investigation,” Fall River Police Chief Brent Van Gysel said. “And for anyone who has been a victim of a crime, this is a great tool. It is always a bad feeling when someone steals from you and the feeling stays with you. I can personally tell you that when a suspect is caught, it is a relief. With the great police work and the Crime Alert Network, the Fall River Police Department was able to take down a thief suspected of numerous thefts in the area,” Chief Van Gysel said.
“This was the first alert issued by the Village of Fall River Police Department, and it helped to solve their case quickly,” Attorney General Van Hollen said. “This is a case of the Crime Alert Network working to assist law enforcement and their community as it was designed to do.”
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. The next scheduled training is Wednesday, January 30, 2013, from 2-2:30 pm. It is entitled “Social Network Privacy: How to Protect Yourself and Your children,” and it will cover how criminals are using social networking sites to facilitate identity theft. Participants will learn what should remain private when using social media sites and other tips, strategies and tools for protecting sensitive, personal information. Visit http://www.wisconsincrimealert.gov/ for details.