UPDATED Monday, January 12, 2009 --- 3:30 p.m.
Sunday night at 6:00. Valerie Resop leaves Woodman's west with a cart full of groceries. She opens her car door and places her purse on the center consul. After putting her groceries in the back she takes the cart to the return.
"I didn't hear anything. I got home and I thought I'll grab my purse and the milk and then come out and get the bags and I couldn't find my purse," said Resop.
After reporting the theft to Woodman's and the police, she drove back to the store just to see if she left it on the cart.
After checking the carts for her purse, Resop got in her mini-van to leave. But as she was heading out of the parking lot she got behind a car that looked out of place. So, she followed it.
"They didn't look right," she admitted. "They were just cruising around the parking lot very slow. They were watching people. Three teenage kids in a silver Crown Victoria with no hub caps. They looked out of place."
Valerie followed the car until they tried to do the same thing to another woman.
"That's when I ran in and used Woodman's phone to call the cops."
When the police arrived they arrested the three suspects (listed below).
"She was the perfect witness in this situation," said Lt. John Patterson with Madison Police Department.
According to Lt. Patterson, the best witnesses are the ones that don't get involved. But, some times emotions get the best of us.
Stated Patterson, "In a similar set of circumstances we recommend they do pretty much the same things: stay back and observe at a safe location and try to get as many description as they can."
"I am proud of myself. I felt like I needed to come back. If I wouldn't of how many people would it have happened to? You know."
After the arrest, one of the suspects lead police to Valerie's purse.
Most of her things were still there, but her cell phone was gone.
Posted Monday, January 12, 2009 --- 10:00 a.m.
Incident report from Madison Police Department:
On Sunday evening, around 6:00 p.m., a 27-year old Madison woman had just competed shopping at the Woodman's Food Market West, 711 S. Gammon Road. She put her groceries and purse in her car, and pushed the shopping cart over to the designated return area. When she got home she discovered her purse was missing. She figured it had been stolen, and thought there might be a chance the thief discarded the purse near the Woodman's parking lot. She returned with hopes of recovering it.
As she observed the lot she spotted a gray Crown Victoria cruising the lot. She watched as another woman pushed her grocery cart to the return area. As this was happening, a suspect jumped from the passenger seat of the Crown Vic and entered the woman's car: evidently finding nothing to steal.
Police were called. Officers stopped the Crown Vic, and arrested three suspects. One led officers to an area near Gilbert Road where the purse and its' contents had been dumped. Many items were recovered however, the victim's cell phone was not found.
Josie L. Linde, age 20, Windsor
Ms. Linde was arrested and tentatively charged with Party To A Crime Theft.
Brian L. Crusan, age 22, Morrisonville
Mr. Crusan was arrested and tentatively charged with Party To A Crime Theft.
Seth W. Erickson, age 19, Sun Prairie
Mr. Erickson was arrested and tentatively charged with Party To A Crime Theft.