Fugitive police officer suspected of burglarizing eatery arrested in western Wisconsin

  • Updated: August 6, 2013 - 8:35 PM

RICE LAKE, Wis. — A Waupun police officer suspected of burglarizing a restaurant in eastern Wisconsin, leading officers on a chase and stealing two vehicles was arrested Tuesday evening in northwestern Wisconsin's Burnett County.

A statement from Barron County Sheriff Chris Fitzgerald said Waupun Police Lt. Bradley J. Young was arrested without incident at 5:10 p.m. and was being held in the Burnett County Jail on suspicion of burglary.

WEAU-TV quoted Fitzgerald as saying Young surrendered after a SWAT team surrounded him at a residence 10 miles west of Spooner.

According to WQOW-TV, the sheriff said Young was aware they had him surrounded so he called 911 and said he wanted to turn himself in. Officers found him sitting on the steps of a cabin he had allegedly broken into earlier. A car he allegedly stole in Rice Lake was found nearby.

The sheriff's statement gave few details about Young's arrest but said he was apprehended with the help of the Washburn, Barron, Burnett and Douglas county SWAT teams, along with help from the Wisconsin State Patrol, Division of Criminal Investigation and Department of Natural Resources.

Young's co-workers were stunned that he may have committed the crimes, according to his supervisor.

The lieutenant was suspected of breaking into the Walkers Kollerville Restaurant in the eastern Wisconsin city of Green Lake about 1 a.m. Monday. A detection system alerted the owners, who called the Green Lake Sheriff's Department.

A responding deputy spotted a suspect leaving the restaurant dressed in camouflage. The deputy chased him into a cornfield where he disappeared, according to sheriff's officials. Tactical officers searched the area with the help of a Fond du Lac police dog.

A vehicle, believed to be Young's, was found near the restaurant. It and Young's residence in Brandon were searched, authorities said.

Sheriff's officials say Young also stole a pickup truck in Green Lake about 3 p.m. Monday. The pickup was spotted in western Wisconsin several hours later. Barron County sheriff's deputies chased the 1985 Toyota truck, which crashed near Rice Lake. The driver fled on foot into nearby woods, officials said.

Fitzgerald said earlier Tuesday that Young apparently stole a second vehicle near Rice Lake sometime Tuesday morning. A statewide alert was issued for a 1996 white Nissan Maxima with Wisconsin license plate 480-HGK.

Young, 43, has been on the Waupun police force for 22 years, according to Deputy Chief Scott Louden. He described the lieutenant as very professional and a good supervisor.

"This was a shock to the whole department. Nobody had any idea," Louden said. "There was no sign of him going through any difficult times."

Young is married with a high school-age child and another in college, Louden said.

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