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Attempted "apple picker" arrested downtown Madison

Posted: Friday, December 6, 2013 --- 8:10 p.m.

A Madison teenager was arrested after attempting to steal cell phones from people at a bar.

19-year-old Karim Ibrahim was at Johnny O's in downtown Madison, when bouncers at the bar were alerted that he was attempting to "apple pick" phones from bar patrons.

When bar staff went to talk to Ibrahim, he dumped three or four cell phones beneath the table at which he was seated. He got away from bouncers as police were entered the bar.

One arriving officer was near the front door, when a man approached. He stuck out his hand, looking to shake the officer's hand. As he did, he said, "I appreciate all you do." At that very moment, some bar staff yelled to the officer, letting him know the person offering the friendly gesture was, the suspect.

Within moments Ibrahim was sprinting down the street with officers in pursuit. The teen later tripped, offering officers an opportunity to arrest him.
The suspect had a couple of cell phones in his pockets and an American Express card, which was not his. One phone was an iPhone 5s in a white and pink case. The officer could see a displayed message: "This phone was stolen, please call (a phone number was listed)." There was no need to call, a 20-year old Madison woman was now at the arrest scene, letting police know the phone had been taken out of her back pocket while she was at the bar. She was one of those who had alerted bouncers to the crime spree.

The suspect later claimed someone must have planted phones in his trousers.

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