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The South Milwaukee Police Department is pleased to announce the arrest of a 33 year old former Minnesota resident, William D Brazelton, in the State of Georgia. Brazelton was wanted by the SMPD for the robbery of Walmart which took place on May 2, 2016.

Business Burglaries

SMPD has received reports of 2 business burglaries in the last 5 days involving suspects breaking business windows and then entering the business and stealing items from the business (cigarettes and lottery tickets in one incident and cigarettes and alcohol in the second incident) and then fleeing the business.

Suspects are wearing hooded sweatshirts and partially covering their faces. They are spending very minimal time in the businesses.

One incident took place at about 4:00am and the other at about 2:20am.

If you see suspicious persons near closed businesses please contact SMPD.

Local agencies have taken reports of a two Hispanic males in a truck marked “Flat Roof Specialist” trying to scam their way into residences.  The truck has been described as a White Dodge Ram, 4-door, newer (2012-2014), with no cap.  No license plate information is available.  A common tactic would be for one of the scammers to distract you by showing you some type of “problem” while the other enters the house and steals from you.  If you see this vehicle and/or are approached by its occupants, please do not answer the door or allow them into your residence.  Call your local police department to report this vehicle if you see it.

All of our holiday shopping and scam news releases, all in one place.

Each year the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection’s (DATCP) Bureau of Consumer Protection spreads out a series of releases on holiday-related issues over the course of November and December.  To better suit the needs of our media partners, this year’s releases are all linked to this email and are ready for immediate publication.

Each of our nine releases is listed below with a link to review it on the DATCP website or to download a PDF version.

Charity Scams

In the spirit of the season, many consumers give generously to charities over the holidays.  But while they are looking to share, scammers are looking to steal through fake charities with high-pressure pitches.

Read online / Download PDF

Gift Card Scams

Like many holiday shoppers, you may be planning to stock up on gift cards.  And like anything else that attracts consumers’ dollars, gift cards also draw the attention of scammers.

Read online / Download PDF

Gift Card Shopping

Convenience, availability and flexibility are always appreciated by shoppers, so it’s no wonder that gift cards are so popular as a holiday gift.  But for all of their pluses, there are some potential “gotchas” to look out for when buying and using gift cards.

Read online / Download PDF

Holiday Promotions

Doorbusters! Black Friday Savings! Cyber Monday! Special Buy!  Holiday advertisements are full of breathless promotions of special sales and offers.  But the devil is in the details.  There are limitations and they tend to be relegated to the fine print.

Read online / Download PDF


Layaway is a popular option for consumers looking to hold the hottest gifts at the store without paying the full price upfront.  The process for layaway varies from store to store, however, with different fees and conditions to consider.

Read online / Download PDF

Online Shopping

Holiday shopping is an increasingly digital affair, with 57% of consumers planning to shop online this year (National Retail Federation).  Online shopping is quick and convenient, but it does provide openings for fraud.

Read online / Download PDF

Returns / Exchanges

Buying a holiday gift for a loved one?  Here’s a peculiar holiday shopping tip: think ahead about the possibility of the gift being returned BEFORE you buy it.  Since even the best presents get returned or exchanged sometimes, planning ahead can be a great help to a gift recipient.

Read online / Download PDF

Shipping Scams

Online gift shopping during the holiday season opens up the market to scammers using fake shipping emails to spread malware or gather personal or banking information.

Read online / Download PDF

Toy Safety

We consider a number of factors when we shop for a gift for children – what’s popular, what they are excited about, what they need – but we may not always think about the most important factor: safety. Even the most popular toy may not be appropriate for the intended child or safe for other children in the home.

Read online / Download PDF