Wisconsin Crime Alert Network helps police identify theft suspect

MADISON – The Wisconsin Crime Alert Network (WCAN) has played a key role in helping local law enforcement identify an individual suspected of stealing television sets from a retailer in Marinette, Wisconsin Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen announced.

Van Hollen said the Marinette Police Department issued an alert through the Wisconsin Crime Alert Network (WCAN) concerning an individual who had stolen large, flat-screen televisions from a local retailer on Oct. 9.

The WCAN alert included photos of the suspect and vehicle.

Within five minutes of issuing the alert, a Marinette County sheriff’s deputy reported that he recognized the suspect in the photo as well as the vehicle.

The individual and vehicle in the alert were reported to have been involved in a gas station drive-off incident that he investigated. The deputy provided the name of the suspect to the Marinette Police who interviewed the suspect. Charges are pending against the man.

“When law enforcement can quickly identify a criminal suspect, it saves them time and investigative resources,” Attorney General Van Hollen said. “It also prevents further victimization, and this case is yet another excellent example of local law enforcement across jurisdictions using the Network effectively and efficiently to further an investigation.”

Since it became operational in fall of 2011, more than 2,700 Wisconsin Crime Alert Network alerts have gone out.

WCAN alerts have played a role in solving more than three dozen criminal investigations and missing/endangered person cases.

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 www.wisconsincrimealert.gov/.

The WCAN also is hosting free crime prevention webinars for subscribers.

The next scheduled training is “Financial Fraud How to Protect Yourself,” scheduled for Thursday, Nov. 14, from 1 p.m. to 1:45 p.m. For more information and to register, visit www.wisconsincrimealert.gov/Learn.html.