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Incident Type: Stolen Vehicle Pursuit & Assist Dane County Sheriff’s Office
Incident Date: 8/19/20
Date of Release: 8/20/20
Case #: 20-13631
Completed By: Lieutenant Edward Hartwick
Arrested Subjects & Referred Charges:
In the early morning hours of Wednesday, August 19, 2020, Fitchburg police officers overheard the Dane County Sheriff’s Office respond to a burglary incident in the Village of Cross Plains. Officers learned the suspects had fired shots during the incident and were likely driving a stolen Toyota Highlander. Refer to the original release from the Dane County Sheriff’s Office below.
Almost an hour and a half later, around 3:40 a.m., a Fitchburg sergeant spotted the stolen Toyota at the gas pumps of the Kwik Trip at 6133 McKee Road. Shortly after being spotted, the vehicle pulled out onto McKee Road. Fitchburg Police personnel attempted a traffic stop and the vehicle failed to stop. Because the vehicle was believed to have been involved in the shots fired incident, officers continued pursuit of the Toyota. The pursuit wound through a residential neighborhood, eventually ending up on Verona Road. Pursuing officers lost sight of the vehicle as it left the City of Fitchburg and terminated the pursuit.
Later in the morning, Fitchburg police personnel were able to use video surveillance to identity two subjects from the stolen Toyota. Personnel from the Dane County Sheriff’s Office and the Fitchburg Police Department worked through the rest of the day to locate the vehicle and the two suspects.
Surveillance efforts eventually spotted the Toyota in the early afternoon. Following another attempted traffic stop, law enforcement personnel returned to the area where the suspects had been previously seen. Around 1:20 p.m. the two suspects were seen entering an apartment building in the 2600 block of Post Road.
Fitchburg officers and detectives took both suspects into custody. Evidence linking the duo the stolen Highlander was recovered, along with a stolen handgun. The stolen Toyota was later found a few blocks away. Investigators learned the gun was reported stolen in the City of Madison in late July.
Both subjects were transported and booked into the Dane County Jail.
Investigators from the Fitchburg Police Department are continuing to work with personnel from the Dane County Sheriff’s Office on the investigation. This incident highlights the high degree of collaboration and coordination among law enforcement agencies in Dane County. Within a few minutes, personnel from the Madison and Waunakee Police Departments were able to assist in the identification of the two suspects. Following the suspect identification, personnel from the Sheriff’s Office and the Fitchburg Police Department worked together to locate the vehicle and suspects. The McFarland Police Department K9 Unit also assisted during the investigation.
ORIGINAL RELEASE FROM THE DANE COUNTY SHERIFF’S OFFICE
Shots Fired in Cross Plains Burglary
August 19, 2020 - At approximately 2:14 a.m., Dane County Sheriff’s Office deputies responded to a residence on Lewis Street in the Village of Cross Plains, after the homeowner awoke to find three unidentified individuals in the garage. The thieves opened the garage door with a garage door opener that they found in an unlocked vehicle. The homeowner confronted the suspects, who fled on foot to a black Toyota Highlander and left the area. That vehicle is currently listed as stolen from the town of Middleton earlier this week.
As the suspects were fleeing, the homeowner fired one shot in the air with a handgun. The suspects returned fire. The Dane County Sheriff’s Office Crime Scene Unit is processing the scene of the burglary and the total number of shots fired is still under investigation. Area law enforcement are continuing to search for the stolen Toyota Highlander, with WI Plate 242 WMG. It was last seen in Fitchburg after the burglary, where the suspects again fled from Fitchburg Police when they attempted to stop the vehicle.
The Cross Plains Police Department received several reports this morning of car break-ins overnight, which may be related to this incident. If you live in Cross Plains and believe your car was entered overnight and have not reported it, please contact the Cross Plains Police Department. Cross Plains Police will assist the Sheriff’s Office in this investigation.
The Dane County Sheriff’s Office is reminding all residents, no matter where you live, to secure vehicles, garages and homes. The suspects involved in these persistent car thefts and break-ins should be considered armed and dangerous. Your best defense is to secure your property at all times! Anyone with information on this incident is asked to call the Dane County tip line at (608) 284-6900. If you see the black Toyota Highlander, WI plate 242 WMG, please call 911. Do not approach the vehicle or attempt to follow it.
August 19, 2020 – The stolen Toyota Highlander has been located. Fitchburg Police have two individuals in custody that are believed to be connected to the stolen vehicle.