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Middleton Police Department
Monday July 1st, 2019 :: 01:27 p.m. CDT

Advisory

From the desk of Chief Foulke: An important message to our community

We continue to have vehicle thefts all over Dane County and Middleton is not immune. I have been reading various comments on social media and I want to address some of them.

These are not sophisticated crimes. In the vast majority of cases, the suspects are stealing cars that are left unlocked in the driveway or the cars are in an open garage. In the vast majority of cases, the keys or key fobs are left in the vehicle. In some cases, the suspects have entered the home through unlocked doors and taken keys or fobs. While there are sophisticated ways to open automatic garage doors, clone key fobs or hot wire cars; that is not the case with these vehicle thefts and suspects.

That is why we are constantly reminding people to secure their vehicles and residences. If you see that your neighbor has left their garage door open, let them know.

I have seen many people recommend that we set up a bait car. Why? We do not have access to a vehicle that we can safely turn off and lock people in when it is stolen. We don’t have the personnel to sit on vehicles. We don’t need to. We are catching these people. There are a core of prolific teens that are responsible for these thefts and have been for a couple of years. We arrest them and many are released, only to reoffend again. Several have been in serious crashes, being badly injured, only to go out and steal cars again. Area law enforcement have been working with the DA’s office, courts, Judges, social service agencies, social workers, schools, faith based organizations, community organizations…you name it, frankly, with disappointing results.

Yes, I am worried that someone is going to go inside a house and be shot by a homeowner. Yes, I am worried that a car is going to be stolen that has a gun in it (has already happened) and a law enforcement officer is going to be faced with a deadly force decision. Yes, I am worried that these inexperienced drivers are going to seriously hurt or kill themselves or someone else in our community. By the way, we only pursue vehicles if the operator or passenger is suspected of committing a violent felony (stealing a car is a property crime, not a violent felony). They are already dangerous enough without us pushing them to be even more dangerous.

I understand the frustration on these continuous thefts. I promise, we are working on a number of avenues to stop or slow down these crimes. I ask you to do your part:

•Secure your residence and vehicles.
•Be a vigilant neighbor, notify the police if you see suspicious people in the neighborhood and let your neighbors know if you notice their garage door is open.
•If you own firearms, be responsible. Do not leave them in your car and secure them in your residence.

Have a happy and safe 4th of July!

Chief Foulke

Address/Location
Middleton Police Department
7341 Donna Dr
Middleton, WI 53562

Contact
Emergency: 9-1-1
Non-emergencies: 608-824-7300

Charles Foulke
Chief of Police
cfoulke@cityofmiddleton.us
608-824-7305

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