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County joins efforts to help youth vulnerable to sex trafficking

Funds, coordination key topics in conversation on ending the crime    

Dane County is taking steps to raise awareness on the issue of human sex trafficking.

Dane County Executive Joe Parisi said Thursday that the county is focused on coordinated education efforts and resources for homeless and runaway youth.

The 2013 county budget includes $30,000 to replace recently eliminated federal funds that support outreach services to homeless and runaway youth, a group that youth advocates cautioned are susceptible to trafficking.

"At the very base, this problem exists because there's a demand for people to buy sex," Parisi said. "People need to realize if they're going to go out and purchase someone's body to use, that is not a victimless crime."

Tracking software reunites Sun Prairie man with stolen phone

Police: iPhone stolen while victim chatted at bar    

Police are crediting smartphone tracking software and a suspect description from a bartender with solving a theft case.

Madison police said a 36-year-old Sun Prairie man had his iPhone stolen while he was at a bar. He didn't see who took it, but police said the bartender got a good description of the thief who was only in the bar for a couple minutes.

The victim was able to use a friend's phone to track the location of his own phone and was able to trace it to South Broom Street near John Nolen Drive, according to police.

Officers said they spotted a suspect in the 100 block of West Main Street.

The victim told police he could activate an alarm on the phone and he activated it when police moved in.

Police enforce DNA sample submissions in Dane County sweep

Police enforce DNA sample submissions in Dane County sweep

Area police officers went door to door Tuesday as part of Dane County’s first DNA-sample enforcement mission. Officers from the Madison, Fitchburg, Sun Prairie, Middleton and deputies from Dane County Sheriff’s Department joined forces to conduct the Dane County DNA sweep.

About 30 law enforcement officers made attempts to contact individuals who were required by law to submit a DNA sample but had not. The Dane County Sheriff’s Department said there were 93 people listed in noncompliance.

The Office of Justice Assistance estimated that between 100 and 120 individuals living in Dane County are required to submit a DNA sample to the Wisconsin DNA Databank on a quarterly basis. Everyone on the list is first sent a letter in an attempt to get voluntary compliance. In many cases, additional attempts were necessary; follow-up letters were sent via certified mail from the Dane County District Attorney’s Office.

Police locate stolen hunting rifle

Police locate stolen hunting rifle

A stolen hunting rifle has now been found in Sun Prairie.

The owner of the rifle reported it stolen from his or her vehicle just after 2 p.m. Monday. Sun Prairie police said the owner was chasing three suspects when the theft was reported on the 400 block of South Bird Street.

During the search, police said nearby Cardinal Heights Upper Middle School and Prairie Phoenix Academy were placed in precautionary lockdown for 15 minutes. However, students and faculty were not in danger, said police.

Officers searched the area and located the hunting rifle in the exterior stairwell of an apartment building. Sun Prairie police have identified suspects and the theft remains under investigation.

Teen playing with lighter starts fire in Sun Prairie

Teen playing with lighter starts fire in Sun Prairie

A 16-year-old boy was cited on a charge of negligent handling of burning materials after fire investigators determined he started a garage fire at a home in Sun Prairie after playing with a lighter.

Police said the teen started the fire at a home at 311 West Main Street. Crews arrived to find heavy fire at the back of the detached garage. They were able to contain the fire and prevent it from spreading beyond the garage.

The investigation was conducted jointly by the Sun Prairie Fire Department and Sun Prairie Police Department.


Teens accused of throwing rocks at police squad car window

Teens accused of throwing rocks at police squad car window

Three teens face charges in connection to series of broken windows, including one on a Sun Prairie Police Department squad car.

Police said they took several reports of damage to property between April 7 and April 30 involving rocks being thrown at residential and commercial windows in the north-central part of the city. 

One of the incidents involved rocks being thrown at a Sun Prairie squad car, causing about $750 in damage, police said.

A 14-year-old boy and two 15-year-old boys, each of Sun Prairie, have been referred to the Dane County District Attorney’s Office on charges of criminal damage to property.

Police said the teens are linked to seven separate incidents totaling about $3,000 in damage.

Residents with unreported damage involving broken windows during the time frame are encouraged to report them to the Sun Prairie Police Department at 608-837-7336.

City, county leaders announce steps to reduce heroin overdoses

City, county leaders announce steps to reduce heroin overdoses

City of Madison and Dane County leaders on Monday announced the latest steps under way to tackle the root of heroin usage.

Law enforcement officials are honing in on prescription drugs as the gateway to heroin.

Officials said they hope an expansion of Safe Communities MedDrop locations can help curb the problem with opiates.

Madison Mayor Paul Soglin and Dane County Executive Joe Parisi announced Monday they are more than doubling the number of Safe Communities MedDrop locations, from four locations to 10, where residents can get rid of potentially dangerous expired, unused or unwanted medicine.

The new boxes will be at police departments in Cambridge, Deerfield, Madison West District, Mazomanie, McFarland and Waunakee. The four current locations include police stations in Fitchburg, Madison East District, Middleton and Sun Prairie.