Middleton police chief addresses recent vehicle thefts

DANE COUNTY (WKOW) — A police official in Dane County is addressing social media comments about vehicle thefts happening in the area and is asking community members to do their part.

Chief Charles Foulke from the Middleton Police Department said the majority of these crimes are happening when victims leave their cars unlocked, many of them with the keys inside. This is happening even after many departments have reminded people to lock up.

When these stories are posted online, onlookers make their opinions heard. Chief Foulke said people have suggested setting up a bait car, to which he replied:

“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. “

Chief Foulke expressed concerns about several things involving car thefts.

“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.”

He said he understands the community is frustrated and that authorities are working on “a number of avenues to stop or slow down these crimes.”

He said there are some things you can do to help lessen these crimes.

  • 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.

The message was posted on the Middleton Police Department’s Facebook page and has been shared by several other police departments in the area.

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