Incident: Burglary and Vehicle Theft
Incident #: FP19-0020459
Location: 3000 block of Portarligton Lane
Incident Date: 12/24/19
Date of Release: 12/24/19
Release By: Lt. Edward Hartwick
Just after 6 a.m. this morning, Tuesday December 24, 2019, Fitchburg officers responded to a home in the 3000 block of Portarligton Lane for a burglary. Investigating officers learned sometime between 2 and 3 a.m., a suspect, or suspects, entered the home through an unlocked entry door that was easily accessible when the overhead garage door had been inadvertently left open. Once inside the house, the suspect(s) took a key fob and a purse. The suspect(s) drove off in a vehicle that had been parked in the garage.
Officers worked with the homeowner to activate a vehicle manufacturer installed GPS system. A short time later, with the assistance of the GPS tracking system, officers determined the vehicle was at the 7-Eleven on Park Street. Officers from the Town of Madison Police Department found the stolen vehicle at 7-Eleven and arrested an eighteen-year-old male occupant. A male juvenile ran from the vehicle and was not apprehended.
Fitchburg officers are following-up on evidence related to the identity of the juvenile who fled. Because this is an open investigation, no further information is available for public release at this time.
We ask homeowners, especially those in the area of Portarligton Lane, to check home video surveillance systems for suspicious activity from this morning or last night. If you believe you have any pertinent video footage please call our department, (608)270-4300, to speak with an officer.
This incident underscores the importance of simple crime prevention steps. While we understand oversights may occur, we strongly encourage residents to:
- Keep the garage door closed at all times unless coming or going. Keep the garage service door locked.
- Lock the entry door from the garage to the house, especially overnight.
- Remove valuables from cars, including cars parked in the garage.
- Lock cars parked outside and remove garage door openers from them.
- Evaluate where you keep keys and key fobs inside your home. Some vehicles can be started and driven even when the key fob is inside the house.
- Account for all vehicle keys and fobs. Some manufacturers include a valet key in the owner’s manual. Never leave keys in your vehicle.
- Become familiar with any GPS tracking or telematics systems your vehicle may be equipped with. Some systems require an active subscription prior to a theft while others can be used at any time.
- Never leave a running vehicle unlocked and unattended, even for a few seconds.
- Share contact information with your neighbors and help monitor their garage door status.
- Develop a nightly crime prevention routine to ensure the garage door is closed and doors are locked.