Police Investigate a Rash of Burglaries in Dane County

By: Michelle Riell Email
By: Michelle Riell Email

Authorities in Dane County are working together to find out whether a rash of recent burglaries are related. 4 liquor stores and 1 restaurant were all burglarized within the last several days, in the same manor and police say this is not the work of amateurs.

Brian Frain is a manager at Neil's Liquor store in Fitchburg and says, "It's happened before, where the back door doesn't latch all the way and wind blows and pushes it open." But this time it wasn't the wind. Instead, the alarm was triggered by someone leaving the store last Wednesday morning, a little after 3:00 a.m. Frain says, "the 2 vents on the left had been ripped off and they were actually on the roof and the guy had left the rope that he had used hanging here. When he came down he lost his grip on the rope and landed on this, so there was glass and liquid was all over the floor back here."

The burglar then picked him/her self up and headed straight for the safe. Frain says, "our office there's a hinge and a lock on it and he had taken a crow bar and pried that off so the door was all dented up."

A scenario that would play out 4 more times in Madison, Sun Prairie, Cottage Grove and Maple Bluff. Frain says by the looks of it, "these are guys that knew what they were doing and they knew where they were going."

Police agencies are working together to determine whether the burglaries, all pulled off by repelling into the store from the roof, are related. Howard Payne of the Madison Police Department says, "we're still in the early stages of being able to draw those types of conclusions."

Even though most business had security cameras and alarm systems, it wasn't enough for the type of entry. Frain says, "we weren't prepared for someone to come in through the roof so we added a motion sensor that's inside the air duct and added two more in the back room." The best defense against this type of burglary, especially since the suspect or suspects seem to be gone with the wind.

Insurance is covering most of the theft at Neil's Liquor Store. If you have any information, call Crime Stoppers at 608-266-6014.

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