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Police Department Press Releases

Posted on: September 6, 2023

Seminole Hills Vandalism Update

incident report update

UPDATE


Incident Type: Criminal Damage to Property

Original Incident Date: 9/4/23

Update Release Date: 9/6/23

Prepared By: Lt. Edward Hartwick

Details:


Yesterday, investigators with the Fitchburg Police Department identified and interviewed a suspect in the Seminole Hills vandalism spree. The identification was made possible through home video surveillance footage and records of previous police contacts.

Based on collected evidence and the interview with the 20-year-old suspect, a resident of the Seminole Hills neighborhood, investigators are confident the person is solely responsible for the incidents. Investigators do not have any reason to believe any victims or property were targeted. Although some vandalism included hate symbols, there is no reason to believe these crimes were hate-motivated or based*.

After assessing the circumstances unique to this investigation, it was determined multiple criminal damage to property charges would be referred to the Dane County District Attorney’s Office for their review. Investigators are still reviewing the numerous reports of damaged property to determine total costs and the exact number of incidents.

While the initial spree reported on Monday included more than ten incidents, investigators now believe additional incidents began earlier Labor Day weekend. Preliminary information on these incidents includes at least 28 cases ranging from damage to vehicles to damaged residential property. 

Any residents who have not yet reported damage to their property are asked to contact the Fitchburg Police Department as soon as possible. We appreciate the assistance of our community in helping to identify this individual by sharing home video surveillance footage. 

The investigation into these incidents remains open. No additional information is available for release at this time. 

*As part of Wisconsin State Statute 939.645 (hate crimes), it is required the actor intentionally selects the person against whom the crime is committed or selects the property that is damaged or otherwise affected by the crime in whole or in part because of the actor's belief or perception regarding the race, religion, color, disability, sexual orientation, national origin or ancestry of that person or the owner or occupant of that property, whether or not the actor's belief or perception was correct.

ORIGINAL RELEASE


Incident Type: Criminal Damage to Property

Incident Date: 9/4/23

Release Date: 9/4/23

Prepared By: Lt. Edward Hartwick

Details:


Fitchburg officers have spent much of Monday morning investigating a vandalism spree that occurred overnight in the Seminole Hills Neighborhood. Officers have taken at least ten reports of criminal damage to property, including slashed vehicle tires, symbols carved into cars, cut hoses, and damaged patio furniture. Incidents have been reported on Osmundesn Road, Tree Line Drive, Oak Leaf Circle, and Marsh View Court. 


The investigation so far indicates the reported incidents likely occurred early Monday morning. Although some damage included Swastikas and other symbols, the incidents do not appear to be targeted or hate-based.


The investigation into the spree is active, with officers canvassing the neighborhood for additional evidence, including video footage.


Anyone with video footage that may contain a suspect(s) or suspicious activity from Monday morning in the Seminole Hills Neighborhood is asked to contact the Fitchburg Police Department. Residents who have yet to report damage to their property should also contact the Fitchburg Police Department as soon as possible. 


If you have information regarding these incidents, please contact the Fitchburg Police Department. You can share information anonymously by contacting Madison Area Crime Stoppers at (608)266-6014 or by visiting P3Tips.com


Fitchburg Police Department: (608)270-4300

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