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Law Enforcement's Use of the Wisconsin Crime Alert Network (WCAN) Solves Crimes Across Jurisdictions


MADISON — Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen is praising law enforcement’s use of the Wisconsin Crime Alert Network, or WCAN, which continues to help investigators solve multiple crimes across jurisdictions.  Since it became operational, more than 4,000 alerts have gone out, assisting law enforcement statewide in solving dozens of crimes. Officers report cases solved within hours, or in some cases within minutes, of using the WCAN.


WCAN Alert Assists Washington County Sheriff’s Office with Investigation of 100 Storage Unit Burglaries


On March 28, 2014, the Washington County Sheriff’s Office issued a WCAN alert regarding burglaries to nearly 100 storage units that occurred throughout the past two months.  Photographs of the suspect and suspect’s vehicle were included in the alert. The Washington County Sheriff’s Office was contacted by investigators with the Oconto County Sheriff’s Department who reviewed the WCAN alert and recognized the suspect in the photos as having been investigated by the Langlade County Sheriff’s Office for a series of storage shed burglaries in 2003.  Washington County deputies contacted Langlade County deputies who provided the name and further information about the suspect.


The Washington County Sheriff’s Office in conjunction with the Saukville Police Department, which had sent out multiple WCAN alerts concerning storage unit burglaries in that community, focused investigative efforts on the suspect including the execution of several search warrants with the assistance of the Ozaukee County Sheriff's Office and Milwaukee Police Department -- District 2.  A substantial amount of confirmed and suspected stolen items was recovered.  The suspect and another individual have been charged in connection to this investigation with more possible charges pending in various jurisdictions.


Outagamie County Sheriff’s Department Identifies Suspect Using the WCAN


On April 8, 2014, the Outagamie County Sheriff’s Department issued an alert through the WCAN regarding a suspicious incident at a school construction site.  Investigators report that in the late evening hours of April 7, 2014, a pickup truck entered a gated area of the school construction site.  Apparently unknown to the driver of the truck, a construction manager was working at the site and observed the vehicle leaving and relayed a description of the truck to law enforcement.

The Town of Menasha Police Department received the Crime Alert and recognized the description of the vehicle from a case in February of this year in which the truck’s owner was cited for stealing pallets.  Town of Menasha police provided information about the truck’s owner to the Outagamie Sheriff’s Department. Sheriff’s department investigators interviewed the suspect, who returned the items stolen from the construction site to investigators.  Theft and other charges against the suspect are pending.

This is the second success story for Outagamie County Sheriff’s Department using the Wisconsin Crime Alert Network.  In both incidents, the department was able to quickly solve crimes through information gained from other law enforcement agencies responding to the Crime Alerts.  Within roughly 24 hours, the cased was solved and the stolen items were returned.


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


Crime Prevention Webinar Scheduled


The WCAN also is hosting free crime prevention webinars for subscribers. The next scheduled training is Wednesday, June 18, at 2 pm.  This webinar will cover “Child Identity Theft.”


Children are an especially vulnerable population to identity thieves, who consider a child’s personal identifying information (PII) more valuable than that of an adult.  Shawn Diaz, Agency Liaison for the Office of Privacy Protection, will explain Child Identity Theft, how it happens, and how you can use Wisconsin’s Child Credit Protection Act to protect your children from this crime.  For more information visit