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UW students catch burglar during Badger Game

Published On: Sep 16 2013 06:32:28 PM CDT   Updated On: Sep 16 2013 09:01:08 PM CDT

Lathrop Street homes


UW students took matters into their own hands Saturday night, catching a burglar in their downtown apartment.

Three burglars struck the home of seven roommates while they were at a neighbor’s house on Lathrop Street watching the Wisconsin Badger game Saturday night, according to Madison police.

UW senior Matt DeBoer said one of his roommates looked out a window and spotted someone walking around his room that they didn't recognize.

DeBoer, his roommates and neighbors went to check out the situation and found three men stealing electronics. DeBoer grabbed one of the burglars and his roommates held him until police arrived.

"I just grabbed him and he tried to run," said DeBoer. "Thankfully, my friends were right behind me, so they were able to help restrain him and we called the cops. We were able to catch one of them and no one was hurt, thankfully."

Police said one burglar jumped off a second-floor balcony and another fled out a door.

DeBoer said the 15-year-old suspect they restrained had a stolen laptop in his pants and a backpack filled with the victims’ electronics.

The 15-year-old told police he only met the other burglars in recent weeks and didn’t know them well. He was arrested on suspicion of burglary.

Police said they were able to get to the scene quickly because of added patrols following recent home invasions in the area, and they're now investigating whether the suspect may have been involved in those.

"These are two very different types of crimes," said Public Information Officer Joel DeSpain. "Burglars typically run when somebody comes home. That's what these guys did, although one didn't run very far and was caught. But the people doing the home invasions, one has a handgun and they're very brazen. They're not running."

One of the other burglars was described as white, 16-19 years old, 5 feet 9 inches to 5 feet 10 inches tall, weighing 140 pounds with a thin build and short, possibly blond, hair. He was wearing a red top and shorts.

The other robber is described as black man, in his late teens, 5 feet 10 inches to 5 feet 11 inches tall, weighing 140 pounds with a thick build. He was wearing a red hooded sweatshirt and black pants.

If anyone has information on the burglary suspects or the home invasions, they're asked to call Madison police.

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