Police Incident Reports A Selection of Noteworthy Incident Reports

Incidents listed are selected by the Officer In Charge of each shift that may have significant public interest. Incidents listed are not inclusive of all incidents. To view Calls for Services information, please visit communitycrimemap.com. Requests for information can be directed to the MPD Records Unit: (608) 266-4075.

Incident Report for Case #2017-348980

Incident Type

Damaged Property

Incident Date

09/28/2017 - 8:13 AM


4602 Cottage Grove Rd. (former Sentry grocery store)


Jory R. Stinson, age 33, no permanent address
Stinson was arrested for arson.


Dear Fellas,
I can't believe how fast things move on the outside ... I have trouble sleepn' at night. I have bad dreams like I'm falling. I wake up scared ... Maybe I should get me gun and rob the Foodway so they'd send me home.

(Part of a letter former inmate Brooks "Brooksy" Hatlen sent to his former fellow inmates after being freed from prison in the movie Shawshank Redemption)

It wasn't much of a fire behind the shuttered Sentry grocery store, and it had been several years since the old wood shed near it held bags of water softener salt. A passerby spotted smoke billowing from the shed Thursday morning and called 911. It did not take police and fire long to figure out this was arson: there was a glass container smelling of gasoline inside, and some paper that appeared to have been intentionally lit. There were also plenty of clues as to who might be responsible, as a number of identification cards – to include a Wisconsin photo ID and a Wisconsin Department of Correction's registration card – were found at the scene.

Officers didn't need to look for a suspect. While firefighters were still watering down the slightly damaged shed, one showed up at the MPD's East District station. He was looking to confess. The man told an officer he had spent much of his adult life incarcerated, and was having a hard time adjusting to the streets. He wanted to go back to prison, hoping to take advantage of programming - this time around - and learn a trade.

The suspect thought he had done enough to stay locked up earlier this week when he was arrested Monday for stealing $10,000 worth of property and a SUV from family members. But by Tuesday, he had been released from the Dane County Jail. "He said that threw him for a loop and he didn't know what to do," said the officer taking the arson confession.

The officer asked the man about another piece of paper found at the shed: a handwritten bank robbery note. That was "plan B," said the suspect, in case starting the fire did not work. He did not want to go there, claiming he did not wish to scare or hurt anyone. He figured igniting an abandoned shed would cause no significant hardship.

He scattered his identification around to purposely give investigators some good leads and clues and then spent a couple of hours trying to start a fire. It was not going well, and he walked away, figuring he had failed. That was around 10:00 p.m. Wednesday night. He slept in the area, awoke, and to his surprise saw the Madison Fire Department near the old shed.

The plan worked after all. Like Brooks, he's now hoping to be sent "home."

Released 09/29/2017 at 2:17 PM by PIO Joel Despain

The location shown is approximate & may not be accurate.