Crime Alert Network helps catch suspected gas thief

By: Kevin Hurd Email
By: Kevin Hurd Email

Police a man suspected of stealing fuel was caught using the Wisconsin Crime Alert Network website.

EAU CLAIRE, Wis. (WEAU) -- "We rely on the public to be our eyes and ears," said Officer Kyle Roder with the Eau Claire Police Department.

Roder says police are always open to tips and information that can help solve a crime. And now, the Wisconsin DOJ's Crime Alert Network is making that easier.

On October 1st, it helped pinpoint a man police say had been allegedly stealing fuel from gas stations in Barron, Chippewa and Eau Claire Counties.

An employee, working at a Kwik Trip in Eau Claire recognized the man from the Crime Alert Network.

"That employee advised that the van and driver matching the descriptions of what he saw on the Crime Alert Network was at their store," he said.

Police were able to arrest Wayne Taylor of Chippewa Falls.

Police say Taylor had used a false license plate. Along with an adult passenger and two young kids inside the van, there were several containers not suitable for holding gas.

"They also noticed there were cigarettes and lighters in the vehicle, the officers noticed the fumes were unbearable to be inside the vehicle," he said.

Taylor was arrested on suspicion of recklessly endangering safety, but no criminal charges have been filed yet.

Kwik Trip employees were not able to comment on camera but say they keep pictures nearby of suspicious people to watch for.

And that is the idea behind the Crime Alert Network -- keeping everyone aware.

"We have many more people here that can call and help us out in these situations and that's what happened here, the Kwik Trip employee was very alert," he said.

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