Marquette Wire

Long MUPD investigation coming to a close

A+student+was+hit+by+a+car+at+the+intersection+of+17th+and+Wells+Streets.+Marquette+Wire+stock+photo.
A student was hit by a car at the intersection of 17th and Wells Streets. Marquette Wire stock photo.

A student was hit by a car at the intersection of 17th and Wells Streets. Marquette Wire stock photo.

A student was hit by a car at the intersection of 17th and Wells Streets. Marquette Wire stock photo.

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The Marquette University Police Department arrested a Milwaukee man connecting him with two months of multiple crimes, including car thefts and robberies in the area.

Exact details are not being released, including his name, until he is officially charged by the District Attorney.

“We’ve been looking for a guy for about two months in relation to a lot of criminal activity that’s happened on the fringe of campus and has led us through a number of jurisdictions outside of campus,” MUPD Captain Jeff Kranz said. “Anything from car break-ins all the way up to armed robbery, and that’s how he ended up getting arrested.”

A few months ago, the Wire reported on the increase in thefts from motor vehicles on campus, and the suspect is believed to be involved in many of those crimes, according to MUPD.

He was originally arrested for a burglary about a year ago. “Because it was a property crime, he wasn’t held; he was given bail and got out,” Kranz said.

The suspect was arrested again in January for attempting to break into a car near campus, but again received bail.

Since his original arrest, the suspect has been involved in a multitude of crimes: an armed robbery, multiple vehicle thefts, theft from motor vehicles, identity theft and personal property theft.

MUPD worked with additional police departments in the jurisdictions where other crimes have been committed, including: Veterans Affairs Police Department, Milwaukee Police Department, West Milwaukee Police Department, West Allis Police Department and Franklin Police Department. “He has committed crimes in all of these jurisdictions, and through our investigation, we’ve been able to connect him,” Kranz said.

MUPD connected the suspect to multiple crimes was after someone reported a retail theft at the Walgreens on campus. Kranz said when the officers approached Walgreens, they saw him run out of the store and recognized him. The officers ran his license plate when he jumped into a car and found the car had been stolen.

Kranz said they have good evidence on the suspect. One of the ways they’ve worked on connecting him to crimes is through fingerprinting and DNA recovered in the stolen vehicles and on other objects. Kranz gave the example of the van recovered on campus a few months ago. “We collected 41 different items of evidence from it,” he said.

Much of the evidence collected were ID cards. “We would find ID cards and take it to the person (ID holder) and find out they were a victim of a crime like the VA, for example,” Kranz said. “So then the officers would go to the VA and get camera footage and say, ‘It’s him again.’”

The use of camera footage has been vital to linking these crimes. “We recovered one of the stolen cars and found a parking receipt from a downtown hotel, and using the date and time of the parking receipt, we found out there were five vehicle break-ins in their garage at that time, so we get camera footage from them,” Kranz said.

They have also used footage from the campus Starbucks. Kranz said local businesses and other police departments have been very helpful in aiding the investigation.

MPD is still working on the case. Kranz said there is a lot of new evidence still being turned up, and various jurisdictions are at different places in the investigation.

“When you get a case like this, there’s so much involved in it. … What the District Attorney will usually do is charge him with the big crime, and so if they connect him solidly to the armed robbery, they’ll charge him with that,” Kranz said. “Because the suspect will then only be technically charged with the most serious offense, the DA will be able to do a read in which is “… where they make the judge aware of all the other criminal activity, but they don’t put charges on it, they just read it in at sentencing.”

An official charge and hearing should come soon.

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