49° F

Police investigate three strong-armed robberies near UW campus

Published On: Feb 19 2013 07:51:48 AM CST   Updated On: Feb 20 2013 01:47:11 PM CST

Credit: Madison Police Department


Three strong-armed robberies near the University of Wisconsin-Madison campus Monday night involving pedestrians all appear to be related, according to Madison police.

Police said all three incidents involve men stealing electronic equipment from people walking down the street.

The first incident happened around 9:40 p.m. in the 400 block of W. Dayton St. According to police, a 20-year-old woman was walking and talking on her cellphone when a dark-colored car pulled up in front of her. Police said a man got out of the car, approached the victim, took her cellphone away from her, jumped into the passenger side of the car and left the scene. The victim was not injured during this incident, according to police.

The second incident happened around 11 p.m. in the 1300 block of Milton Street. Police said a 20-year-old man was walking on Milton St. when he noticed a dark-colored car slowly drive by and stop in front of him. Police said two people jumped out of the car, with one man holding down the victim, while the other man took the victim's cell phone and another electronic item. The men jumped back into the car and took off, according to police. The victim was not injured.

"The second victim, a male victim, tried to hold on to his phone, but one of the perpetrators said that, basically, 'We'll kill you if you don't give up your phone,' and he gave it up," said Joel DeSpain, Madison Police Department spokesman.

The final incident happened a few minutes later in the 400 block of South Randall Avenue. Police said a 20-year-old man was walking down Randall Avenue when he observed a dark-colored car parked on the side of the road. As the victim walked past the car, two men got out of the car and began to follow him, according to police. Police said once the men caught up to the victim, one of them restrained the victim and threw him onto the ground while the other man took a laptop from him.

Both men then ran back to their car and left the area, according to police. No injuries were reported by the victim and police said it appears that all three calls from tonight were related. No weapons were seen or mentioned in any of these cases.

Police are looking for two black men, both around 6 feet tall, weighing 180 pounds. In two of the incidents, one of the men is described as having long, braided hair and wearing dark clothing.

Anyone who has any information about these cases is urged to contact Madison Area Crime Stoppers on the web at or call 608-266-6014 or text "Dane" and your message to CRIMES at 274637. Individuals contacting Crime Stoppers can remain anonymous and may be eligible for a cash reward.

  • PHOTOS: Madison store helps collect hundreds of Teddy bears for police

    MADISON, Wis.--A west Madison store is part of an effort to collect hundreds of stuffed animals to donate to six police departments in Southern Wisconsin.

    Todd Merryfield, owner of The Learning Shop at 714 S. Gammon Road, said the store is collecting the bears for officers who use them to help comfort children with whom police come in contact.

    "This is a great way to support what (police) do," Merryfield said. "Those are the kids that need something like this to reassure them, calm them down, and let them know that things are all right."

    Nearly 500 plush animals were donated Tuesday, a Learning Shop spokeswoman said. The Madison store's effort is part of a larger initiative through the Bears for Humanity organization. 

    Photos by Doug Wahl

  • Passport


    Mistakes people make when moving abroad

    Moving abroad? has put together a list of six mistakes people make when they're moving abroad. Click through, so you don't make the same mistakes during your move.

  • Hannah McClung

    PHOTOS: Med Flight called to crash on Highway 12

    The westbound lanes of Highway 12 were closed for nearly an hour Tuesday afternoon between Parmenter Street and County Road K near Middleton because of a crash.