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Police: Thief steals laptop in 'bold' crime

Published On: Feb 06 2014 12:53:11 PM CST   Updated On: Feb 06 2014 05:48:08 PM CST

UWPD police seek help in a case of a laptop stolen from its owner in a downtown Madison crime investigators called bold and concerning.

MADISON, Wis. -

Police said a woman's computer was stolen from her in a brazen crime at the Memorial Union Wednesday night.

The University of Wisconsin-Madison Police Department said at about 9:15 p.m. a UW-Madison student was studying with friends at the Lakefront on Langdon Cafe. A man walked up to the table where she was seated, grabbed her laptop and ran, police said.

"This happened so quickly, she almost stood there in a sense of shock," UW police spokesman Marc Lovicott said. "I can imagine anyone would have that same reaction because it's such a bold move to make."

Police said the bold nature of the theft is concerning. The thief simply grabbed the computer and ran off, saying nothing.

The victim said nothing and did not put up a fight. Police said there was not a weapon or other implied threat.

Witnesses told UWPD they had seen the thief about 20 minutes before the computer was taken acting suspiciously. He was possibly scoping out the area for a potential target, according to the report.

"Twenty minutes prior there was a guy walking around that didn't belong and was looking suspicious, and people had noted that he was looking very suspicious," Lovicott said. "We want to make sure people are aware that they can call us and should call us if something doesn't look right or if someone doesn't look right."

Police shared two photos of the man investigators are seeking and asked for the community's help identifying him. Officials are not sure if the two men they are looking for are UW students or not.

Surveillance video also showed a man wearing a green camouflage jacked and red hooded sweatshirt, blue jeans, dark shoes and a striped red white and black stocking cap entering the building.

A possible second suspect is described as a Latino man, heavyset build who was wearing a dark hooded sweatshirt, dark jeans and white shoes.

Police asked anyone with information on the theft to call 608-264-2677.

Madison crime stories from the past 12 months - locations are approximate

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