A steel dumpster and plastic shed were damaged after a fire broke out inside a dumpster in the 1400 block of Second Street West in Menomonie around 1:50 p.m. on May 27.
Menomonie police met with the landlord who said he believed the fire was caused by one of the tenants. He told police the tenant had dumped hot coals into the dumpster. Police spoke with the tenant in question who admitted that he dumped ashes from a grill into the dumpster about 30 minutes to an hour prior to the fire.
Though he said the ashes were from the night before, he said they must have been the cause of the fire. No arrests or fines occurred, but damage to both the dumpster and shed is estimated at $1,000.
A local Menomonie woman fell victim to fraud after she followed links from a pop-up ad that appeared on her computer on April 23. The woman did not report the incident to the Menomonie Police Department, however, until 4:15 p.m. on May 26.
She told police she was browsing the Internet when a pop-up window appeared on the screen. It appeared to be from Microsoft, alleging security problems, so she clicked on the link. She followed instructions to send a check for $1,999 to a company called 1Time to address the issue. A secondary company called Geeks Advise was also listed on the pop-up window.
Police found that the return address for the company was in California was registered as a residential address. Both 1Time and Geeks Advise appear to be front names for scams based on open source internet searches conducted by the police.
Sometime between May 23 and 24, someone spray painted graffiti on the wall of two neighboring apartments in the 200 block of Main Street East in Menomonie.
MPD was contacted about the incident on May 24 around 9:40 a.m. Police investigated the first complex, which can be accessed from the neighboring building, which has a lower roof. The roof was searched and police found a back spray paint nozzle with dried green paint that matched the color of the graffiti. The nozzle was sent to a crime lab in Wausau for any potential fingerprints.
Police also noticed footprints in the dust on the roof which showed the person or persons had accessed the roof from the neighboring building.
The owner of the second complex was also contacted by police who said he was aware of the graffiti, which he believed to be an older incident. He said he would be reviewing surveillance footage to assist in identifying the suspect(s).
The owner of the first building said she wanted to offer a $1,000 reward for information that would lead to the arrest and conviction of the person(s) responsible. The estimated damage to each building was $300.
Field sprayer fire
A local farmer lost a field sprayer costing $150,000 following a fire that broke out in the engine compartment around 10 p.m. on May 17.
The Menomonie Fire Department was called out to a field on 730th Street south of County Highway B in Colfax where the sprayer was fully engulfed in flames. The owner, who was not injured, told Dunn County deputies that he was operating the machine when it lost power. When he exited the 2014 Miller Nitro 4420 field sprayer, he saw the engine compartment was on fire.
The owner/operator unsuccessfully attempted to put the fire out with a fire extinguisher. He said he had not had any issues operating the sprayer throughout the day.
A manager at Synergy Co-Op in Elk Mound was contacted by deputies who said the sprayer was insured and a towing company was hired to remove it from the field.