An eight-year veteran Washington County sheriff’s deputy on routine patrol observed a van pulling a trailer loaded with an ATV leaving the fenced in area behind Cabela’s around 12:56 a.m. As the van fled the parking lot the squad was struck, causing minor damage. A southbound pursuit lasting six miles on I-41 was initiated by the deputy. The pursuing deputy was aware of an active construction zone on I-41 south of Holy Hill Road and terminated the pursuit prior to entering the work zone. The deputy was able to re-initiate the pursuit after the van exited the construction zone and suspect vehicle speeds then reached 100mph before crashing south of Lannon Road. The van rolled over and the trailer detached causing the unsecured ATV to roll over off the trailer.
The operator then fled on foot and a perimeter was set up. The Germantown Police Department K9 Unit began tracking the suspect and a sheriff’s office drone was also launched.
Officers from the Sheriff’s Office, Germantown Police Department, Menomonee Falls Police Department, and the Wisconsin State Patrol exhaustively searched the area for over two hours but were not able to locate the suspect.
Just over three hours after the incident, a diligent 27-year veteran deputy sheriff located an individual at the Germantown Walmart that he believed to be the suspect. A Germantown Police Officer, who initially saw the suspect flee from the overturned van, confirmed the deputy’s suspicions. The 39-year-old Milwaukee man was arrested at 4:02 a.m. and is currently in custody at the Washington County Jail.
The subsequent investigation revealed the alleged suspect cut the lock on the fenced in area and stole both the ATV and trailer from Cabela’s. The Sheriff’s Office Major Crimes division is investigating if the subject is linked to other recent trailer thefts in southeastern Wisconsin.