DICKEYVILLE — An alert citizen willing to report suspicious activity to law enforcement helped prevent a burglary at a Dickeyville car wash early Sunday morning. A suspect vehicle was pulled over in Dubuque, Iowa, on Monday afternoon, but no charges associated with the burglary attempt have been filed.
The Grant County Sheriff’s Department received a call at 3:02 a.m. on Dec. 11 of a suspicious vehicle at the Dickeyville Car Wash on Pitzen Lane in Dickeyville. The property is owned by Dale Timmerman.
An investigation determined that two young people attempted to burglarize the car wash while a third person sat in the vehicle, described as a red late 1990s Chevrolet Blazer. The vehicle had several features that made it easily identifiable, including the driver’s door having damage, possibly preventing it from opening as it was secured with orange zip-ties. There was also a round sticker on the back window.
Dickeyville Police Chief Dave Reuter said the suspect vehicle was also involved in car wash incidents in three Iowa cities—Farley, Peosta and Epworth—and may have been a part of damages and thefts at car washes in Hazel Green, Darlington, Dodgeville and Mineral Point.
“The Iowa locations had video footage of the same vehicle,” Reuter said. “We believe it could be related to the Wisconsin incidents, too.”
Reuter used still images from the surveillance video to seek assistance from social media users. He received many comments with tips from the Facebook post.
“We got a lot of comments on it,” Reuter said. “Facebook can really help in situations like this.”
At approximately 3:30 p.m. on Monday, Reuter was notified that the Dubuque County Sheriff’s Department had a vehicle matching the description pulled over. Reuter said some modifications were made to the vehicle, but he could tell it was the right one. The sticker had been removed, but there was still a clean spot where it was and the zip-ties were replaced with tape to secure the door.
“They likely saw that we put the description on Facebook,” Reuter said.
The vehicle was occupied by two males and one female who were taken into custody and charged for possession of drugs and drug paraphernalia.
“The vehicle contained burglary tools, but there wasn’t enough to make any charges in this case,” Reuter said.
The investigation is ongoing.
Reuter said that this time of year burglaries and thefts tend to increase. He recommended locking doors and reporting any suspicious incidents.
“Because we had an alert citizen, there was no theft, just a damaged door,” Reuter said. “The other communities weren’t as lucky. They had the camera system taken and the vacuum system removed, causing a lot of damage. We really lucked out.”
Anyone with information is asked to call Dickeyville police, 608-568-7284, or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.