We saw a spike in residential burglaries in the Vilas/Greenbush neighborhoods early in the year. In attempts to educate those in the affected neighborhoods SCPT initiated several actions which included attending neighborhood association meetings, and contacting the UW based newspapers (as many of the victim residences involved college students). I also attended an informational meeting arranged by Alder Resnick in April which included representatives from UW Police and City of Madison Police. Through this effort, we were able to provide information to students and others reference recent activity.
Related to the burglaries SCPT found several vacant homes for sale in the area. A couple of these homes were found to have been illegally entered. Once inside, subjects were using the homes to hide evidence of the burglaries. Given this, Officer Ramirez contacted the Wisconsin Realtors Association to alert them of the activity and see if they could help raise awareness of realtors. The Association was very receptive and will be including an article in their upcoming newsletter to realtors throughout Wisconsin, alerting them to this issue and what steps they can take to better protect their vacant properties.
In addition to the educational efforts, SCPT and others have been involved in several proactive operations geared towards identifying perpetrators and holding them accountable.
To reduce the likelihood of being a victim:
1) Keep doors and windows locked; especially when not present (several burglaries have been the result of cutting the screen on windows to gain entry)
2) Keep valuables out of sight (computers, cell phones, IPADs are popular items)
3) Exterior lighting can be a helpful deterrent.
4) Get to know your neighbors and watch out for each other
5) Report any suspicious behavior to 911 (loitering, subjects that appear out of place, subjects going door to door attempting to make contact with residents, etc.)
Penn Park Shooting: Case #2012-126649
On May 11, 2012 there was a disturbance in Penn Park which ultimately involved shots being fired. Through an in-depth investigation by patrol officers and detectives, three subjects of interest were identified. SCPT was able to locate two of the subjects while the third was located in another jurisdiction. All subjects were arrested on unrelated charges. The investigation is on-going.