15° F
Mostly Cloudy
Mostly Cloudy

2 arrested in connection with rash of phone, credit card thefts

Published On: Dec 24 2013 04:25:19 AM CST   Updated On: Sep 04 2013 05:48:22 PM CDT

Photo courtesy Dane County Sheriffr's Office

Angelena Birt, Rodney Harris


Police believe they have a pair of suspects in custody responsible for a rash of downtown bar thefts in which smart phones, credit cards, wallets and purses were taken earlier this summer.

Following an investigation by the Madison Police Department, a man and a woman have been charged with several counts, including theft, specifically for taking two smart phones from State Street Brats, 603 State St., in the early morning hours of July 21.

Rodney M. Harris Jr., 26, and Angelena R. Birt, 21, both of Madison, were charged with several counts each, including theft, Madison police said in a news release Wednesday.

Police said one of the suspects told a Madison police detective that it was easy to steal valuables people carry.

"You can do it really fast, right in front of people and they don't even know it," said the suspect quoted in a recently filed criminal complaint, Madison police said.

On July 21, a 23-year-old Madison man told police his phone was taken out of his back pocket. Early that morning, a 23-year-old Madison woman told officers a man grabbed at her wristlet like he wanted to dance. After she turned him down, she realized the wristlet had been unzipped and her new smart phone and a credit card were missing.

Police said bar surveillance video and images captured at a gas station where suspects attempted to use the stolen credit card helped identify the suspects.

According to police, one suspect said several thieves worked in concert with one another taking "more than 50 credit cards and wallets." The defendant said they typically sold stolen phones for $20 each.

Investigators are continuing to review cases, looking to arrest more suspects, police said.

  • Wildlife refuge


    Oregon armed protesters: What to know

    A 41-day occupation at a federal wildlife refuge in Oregon ended Thursday when the four remaining protesters surrendered to authorities. Here is what to you need to know about the group.

  • Titanic II

    Blue Star Line

    Titanic II: A look inside

    The new Titanic II will be practically identical to the original luxury liner, which famously sank in April 1912 after striking an iceberg on its maiden voyage. Here's a look inside the ocean liner, which is slated to sail in 2018.

  • Couple holding hands

    iStock / kevinruss

    Best American cities for Valentine's Day

    Some cities are just more romantic than others, but which U.S. cities provide the best chance for some Valentine's Day romance without breaking the bank?

  • Audrey


    Look Who's 3

    Check out who's turning 3, and send in your photo.

  • Valentine's Day card

    Valentine's Day

    Gift ideas, getting in the mood, popping the question, recipes and ideas for kids, all in our special section dedicated to Valentine's Day.

  • heart--stethoscope--doctor--medical---21654271

    Healthy Heart

    Tips to stay heart healthy, reducing your risk of heart disease, advice and the latest research on heart health.