A crime of opportunity: Police urge residents to lock cars, doors following overnight break-ins

Multiple police departments are trying to find the people who led them on a high-speed chase early Friday morning.

The chase started after reports of break-ins and thefts in at least six different towns, the first in Beaver Dam.

Beaver Dam Police Chief John Kreuziger said people feel safe in the city, and as a result they don’t lock their doors.

“It’s been a crime of opportunity,” Kreuziger said. “If they see something that’s unlocked, or they see something of value and (they) take it.”

That’s what he said happened Friday morning, but this time, police saw the group responsible just in time. They noticed a silver SUV, and when they tried to stop it, the SUV sped off, leading them through Columbus, DeForest, Sun Prairie and the city of Madison, finally abandoning the car near the Madison College campus.

“We know that some of these stolen vehicles from last night, and there were several instances … we suspect were a number of the kids who have stolen cars in the past,” said Dane County Sheriff Dave Mahoney.

He said his detectives are working to solve this case too because he thinks what happened through Dodge and Columbia counties is tied to multiple home break-ins and thefts in Dane County.

Through all the cases, he urges the same caution: lock your car, take your garage door opener out and lock your home.

“When some of these kids are being caught, they talk about going through a neighborhood, checking doors, and if it’s locked they just move on,” Mahoney said.

He said he’s made these changes in his own life, and ones he’s pushed for in cities like Madison, but now, he said it’s something people need whether in rural Dane, Dodge or Columbia counties too.

“There are things that every one of us can do to keep our property safer and our homes safer,” he said. “We just have to change our lifestyle to do that.”

Aside from changing those habits in daily life, Beaver Dam police said anyone security video that might be helpful in this case should contact them.

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