Dog's bark alerts owners to suspicious men outside home

Police suspect men connected to several burglaries

Skippy saves the day

BRODHEAD, Wis. - A Brodhead couple is calling their dog, Skippy, a hero after he barked early Thursday morning and alerted them to two men trying to get into the couple’s cars.

Steve Clankie said the energetic black and white dog didn’t use to bark, but now he does every time someone walks or drives past the house on 16th Street. Clankie said he and his wife have gotten used to the barks but could tell something was different early Thursday morning.

“Never once at night did we ever hear him bark like that,” Clankie said. “That’s the first time he’s ever done it, and with good reason.”

Clankie said a little after 3:30 Thursday morning, Skippy was going wild, so his wife looked out the window and saw a car in the road.

“It looked like they were going to the neighbor’s house because it’s not uncommon, but at 3:30 in the morning it is,” Clankie said. “But then we laid back down to go to sleep and Skippy went crazy again.”

This time, when his wife looked out the window, she saw a man getting in one of their cars and a second man walking toward another one of their cars.

“She ran out here real quick, turned the light on and was hollering that the person was out there,” Clankie said. “So when we turned the light on, they got in the car and drove away towards Highway 11 from here.”

Clankie called the Brodhead Police Department, and officers found the suspects’ car in the 1400 block of 16th Street. Officials said it was full of stolen property from Albany, Brodhead, Brooklyn, Johnson Creek, Madison and Oregon.

“We are still compiling a list of property contained within the impounded vehicle, but I encourage anyone from these areas who have property stolen from their vehicles to contact their local law enforcement agency, who can reach out to our department,” said Brodhead Police Chief Chris Hughes.

Hughes said police used a thermal imaging camera to look for the suspects because of the dense fog. He said officers saw the men in the backyards of homes between 15th and 16th streets. Police were able to catch and arrest one suspect, 23-year-old Thomas Kusch. Officers are still looking for the second suspect, 23-year-old Ruslan Fedorov. Police said both men are from Madison.

Police said they believe Fedorov might  be driving a gray 2005 Pontiac Grand Prix four-door with Wisconsin license plate 550-VEF because the car was reported stolen from a driveway in the 1200 block of West Fourth Avenue.

“We believe Fedorov may have stolen this vehicle because he was last seen running in the direction of this neighborhood,” Hughes said.

Clankie said the suspects didn’t take anything out of his cars, and he feels at-ease knowing Skippy is there to alert him if something similar happens again.

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