MADISON, Wis. - A Madison crime analyst used factors from previous similar bank robberies to successfully predict the time and location a robber might attempt another robbery.
According to a Madison Police Department release, an analyst looked at the dollar amount taken in previous robberies, the types of banks hit and the number of days between hits to identify 11 similar financial institutions that could be potential targets.
"People are patternable," crime analyst Caleb Klebig said. "I'm just really trying to hone in on the individual incident and then looking at it from a broader standpoint and try and put the puzzle together."
Klebig listed five potential targets in Madison, three in Fitchburg, one in Shorewood Hills and one in Middleton, officials said. He also predicted the robber would hit another bank on Wednesday or Thursday from 2-7 p.m.
Based on the information MPD sent out to officers and surrounding departments, several units stepped up patrols around the possible targets, according to the release.
Around 2:40 p.m. on Wednesday Middleton police detectives noticed a suspicious person wearing a partial face mask and carrying a backpack enter the Guaranty Bank inside Copps grocery store at 6800 Century Ave., which was the predicted Middleton location.
When the man exited the bank he was confronted by detectives, according to the release. The man fled to the back of the shopping center where he was arrested at gunpoint.
Shortly after that, the Middleton Police Dispatch Center received a holdup alarm from the bank, and investigators verified the bank had just been robbed by a masked man, officials said.
"Especially with limited manpower, to be able to know the specific times that something might occur is very beneficial to us, and obviously paid off for everybody yesterday," Sgt. Troy Hellenbrand, with the Middleton Police Department, said. "I think we were all kind of amazed that the date, time and location that were predicted actually did come true."
Klebig said while the computer software has come a long way and can help narrow down the time and place a future crime might occur, there needs to be someone analyzing that information.
"It's a tool that law enforcement is able to utilize as a means to police more efficiently and effectively," Klebig said.
No one was injured during the Wednesday incident, and the robber, Scottie T. Patterson, 28, of Madison, was not armed, according to the release.
Patterson confessed to the Middleton robbery and three other robberies in Madison; the robbery of an Associated Bank branch on South Whitney Way on Feb. 26, the robbery of an Associated Bank branch on McKee Road on Feb. 20, and another one at the Associated Bank branch on Whitney Way on Dec. 13. Patterson told police he needed the money for heroin.
Patterson was arrested by Middleton police on tentative charges of robbery and on an outstanding warrant. He also faces tentative charges of three counts of robbery in Madison.
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