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Police: Businesses say scammers claim to be from utility company

Janesville police said a scam targeting businesses has been reported in the area.

Four separate Janesville businesses reported receiving a phone call from 608-721-8076 recently, according to a news alert. The caller identifies themselves as a representative from Alliant Energy, and tells the business that their utility bill is past due.

The caller tells the business that their utilities will be disconnected within the hour if the bill is not paid, police said. The representative suggests the business pay with a debit or prepaid Green Dot card.

Alliant Energy officials told police they are not making the calls, and citizens should never give out any personal information over the phone.

Alliant Energy customers can call 800-255-4268 if they have questions about their account.

Janesville man charged in Home Depot shoplifting scheme

Janesville man charged in Home Depot shoplifting scheme

A massive investigation that spanned more than a year has resulted in the arrest of 30-year-old Tyler Groeller of Janesville.

Police believe Groeller was the mastermind behind a scheme to shoplift $20,000 in merchandise from Home Depot stores in 11 different cities in Wisconsin over the course of a year. Groeller allegedly recruited 35 known heroin users to shoplift the merchandise for him.

Police said once the merchandise was stolen, the shoplifter would return the item to Home Depot. Because they did not have a receipt for the item the store issued them gift cards.

Janesville police were first contacted by internal security at Home Depot in October 2013. Home Depot security discovered that $20,000 in gift cards had been used by a Janesville landlord. They tracked those gift cards and discovered the cards had been issued to the 35 individuals alleged to be involved in the shoplifting.

Beloit PD to intensify traffic safety enforcement Friday, Saturday

The Beloit Police Department will intensify its traffic safety enforcement Friday and Saturday. Beloit Police Officers will be working under an Alcohol Saturation Grant, provided the State of WI, to combat drunken driving and increase safety belt use.

The Beloit Police Department along with WI Department of Transportation has identified the following roadways in the community as 'at-risk':

Liberty Ave. (Highway 81), Riverside Dr. (Highway 51), and Prairie Ave.

Janesville man charged with 6th OWI

Janesville man charged with 6th OWI

The Rock County Sheriff's Department said a Janesville man is facing his sixth charge of operating a vehicle while intoxicated after he was pulled over south of Janesville late Wednesday evening.

The traffic stop happened just after 9:30 p.m. Wednesday near the corner of West Sunny Lane and South U.S. Highway 51 in the town of Rock, south of Janesville.

According to the sheriff's department, John Licastro, 61, was observed to have been "passed out" in his car by another driver before he left a parking lot near the intersection.

Sheriff's officials said a deputy nearby pulled him over, and could smell the odor of intoxicants and observed an open intoxicant inside the vehicle.

Licastro failed field sobriety tests and was taken to the Rock County Jail, according to the sheriff's department.

SWAT, police to train at Janesville City Hall

SWAT, police to train at Janesville City Hall

Janesville police will be training at the City Hall the next two weekends, according to a news alert.

The SWAT team training on Nov. 8 will include building clearing, rescue operations and casualty care, officials said.

On Nov. 15, the Janesville Police Department will host rapid deployment training at City Hall.

Rapid deployment is the swift and immediate deployment of law enforcement personnel to on-going, life-threatening situations where a delayed deployment could result in death or great bodily injury to innocent people, officials said.

During the trainings, several Rock County law enforcement agencies will practice rapid response and deployment formations, according to the release.

Beloit police conduct tactical training Tuesday night

Beloit police conduct tactical training Tuesday night

Officers with the Beloit Police Department will be participating in tactical training Tuesday night, according to a news alert.

The training will be taking place in the 1700 block of Park Avenue from 5:30-8:30 p.m., officials said.

The area will be marked with signs, and there is no danger to the community, according to the alert.

Normal traffic flow will not be affected by the training, officials said.

Police look for man who crashes vehicle, flees on foot

Police look for man who crashes vehicle, flees on foot

A man who fled police at a high rate of speed and then ran away on foot after crashing his vehicle is still wanted by the Janesville Police Department, according to a release.

Janesville police were involved in a drug-related investigation on the south side of Janesville around 4:34 p.m. when they stopped a vehicle on Center Avenue near Nicolet Street, officials said. The vehicle was a green Ford Expedition, and it fled north at a high rate of speed on Center Avenue.

The officer began to pursue the Ford, but immediately ended the chase on Center Avenue near West State Street due to public safety, according to the release. At one point, the suspect vehicle was seen crossing over the opposite lane of traffic.

The vehicle tried to go over the center median of Monterey Bridge, which disabled the tires, police said. The vehicle stopped as it crashed into the bridge dividers on Center Avenue near Riverside Street.