Lodi and the surrounding areas have seen a series of vehicle and home burglaries over recent months. Speaking at a recent Neighborhood Watch meeting, Lodi Police Chief, Wayne Smith, gave an update on the investigation and cleared up some misinformation.
We have identified two persons of interest related to the car entries and burglaries that occurred in Lodi. We believe that four individuals and possibly more were involved. Two of the identified individuals are currently in custody in the Dane County jail and charged with similar criminal acts to those committed in the City of Lodi. We hope to refer the two identified for criminal charges to the Columbia County DA in the near future provided we can develop the case beyond a reasonable suspicion to a probable cause level.
“Probable Cause” is the level at which a warrant for arrest can be issued. A diligent and detailed investigation assures that the right persons have been arrested, and that there are no violations of their rights which may result in their release. This requirement is listed in the Fourth Amendment to the US Constitution:
[…] no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.
The two individuals in custody are believed to be working directly with at least two other individuals. Speculation and rumors have been going around town that these acts are being carried out by a “professional” gang of “up to 150 criminals”. Chief Smith responded to this:
We have not developed any information to support that the group is as large as 25 or more, let alone 150 persons. (emphasis added)
Names of the suspects are not being released at this time.
[Edited for correction]
A Lodi native, Blaze attended the University of Wisconsin, Green Bay where he graduated with a degree in theatre technology & design. He has traveled extensively throughout the United States and the world–including a 6-year stint in China. He has been a teacher, a writer, a designer, and is the founder of the Redleaf Consulting Group.