APPLETON - An Appleton burglary suspect is in jail and police say it's all because of a cell phone.
Police say the cell phone was in a burglary suspect's pocket. And it rang while the suspect was being interviewed.
The suspect is identified as 40-year-old Horace Fields. He is being held on a probation violation, awaiting charges.
Appleton police say they were called to a house in the 1600 block of Morrison Street just after 2 a.m. Tuesday. The homeowners woke up to find someone trying to steal their television.
"The homeowner ended up scaring the individual off. Our officers started checking the area and in doing so found a pretty distinctive pair of footprints that were leading away from the residence. They contacted Outagamie County Sheriff's Department to have the canine unit in to assist with the tracking," said Sgt. Dave Lund of the Appleton Police Department.
Police say they tracked the suspect through snow all the way to the 1500 block of Oneida Street. But they say the real clue came when a cell phone rang.
The homeowner had told police their phone had been stolen. So, officers dialed that number while talking to the suspects.
"The phone rang and it was in the jacket pocket of one of the occupants of the residence," said Lund.
That person: Horace Fields.
Police say they were able to catch Fields thanks to quick thinking.
"I like to think that it's our officers thinking outside the box and somewhere along the line someone decided besides following the shoes that happened to be at the residence to give that victim's cell phone a call and sometimes luck is with us and we find the suspect was there," said Lund.
Officers remind homeowners to lock their doors and turn on exterior lights to help deter break-ins from happening.
Appleton police say Fields has a lengthy prior record, including felony bail jumping for prior misdemeanor theft convictions. Fields hasn't yet been charged for the Tuesday morning attempted burglary.
Firefighters are battling a house fire in Kewaunee County.
Wind, snow, cold and ice played a role as firefighters battled a fire in downtown Ripon Wednesday morning.
Outagamie County's second largest employer is expanding, and veterans are encouraged to apply.
The State Building Commission has approved $5 million to help build the Wisconsin Maritime Center of Excellence in Marinette.
Fond du Lac police have released more information about the weapons they found in the apartment of a man who was at the center of a five-hour standoff on Monday.
The Wisconsin Department of Transportation is announcing a public meeting has been scheduled to provide road closure and design information for the Velp Avenue interchange area.