CrimeTracker 15: Car Break-ins on North Side

By: Dana Brueck Email
By: Dana Brueck Email

UPDATED Wednesday, January 21, 2009 --- 10:43 p.m.

A series of smash and grab break-ins on Madison's north side follow another crime spree earlier this month.

Ron Kelley has lived at East Bluff condos for almost 30 years and says he notices when something is out of the ordinary.

He takes care of the parking lot there - the same lot where one vehicle in particular caught his eye on Saturday.

"I just happened to see a car, thought the window was down," he said, "but it was actually shattered."

Then Kelley looked at his son's car next to it.

"His window was also shattered and I found two other cars besides," he said.

Police say ten vehicles suffered damage in neighborhoods across Madison's North Side sometime early Saturday morning.

"It looked like people were going in, trying to steal things," said Joel DeSpain of the Madison Police Department.

Some of those things taken by the unwelcome visitors included a GPS unit, CDs and some coins.

Kelley, however, says it's the busted glass that will cost his son.

"The car was open," he said. "He leaves it open all of the time because he doesn't have anything of value in it. They could've just opened the door and took what they wanted."

But in some cases, nothing was taken.

"Two weeks ago, we had a situation where it looked like pure vandalism," DeSpain said. "People were driving around shooting a BB gun at car windows or home windows and damaging them."

And that happened nearby, just north of East Bluff near Delaware Boulevard.

Police cannot say whether there's a connection, but understand people's frustration.

"These quality of life crimes - thefts from autos, people breaking into their garages, stealing a bicycle - they really hit home for people," DeSpain said.

And, in this case, hit them in the wallet too.

"He was going to buy another one," Kelley said of his son's car. "But in order to sell it, he's gonna have to fix the window."

Police say a number of the reports came through the department's self-reporting system, but officers review all reports and they can be referred to a detective.

Anyone who sees suspicious activity should call police immediately and an officer will be dispatched.
Below is the release from the Madison Police Department:

North District officers are investigating a number of “smash-and-grab” cases from over the weekend. All involved car windows being broken.

The crime spree targeted various locations: the 1500 block of Troy Drive, the 200 block of East Bluff, the 4400 block of East Washington Ave, and the 1700 block of Onsgard Road.

Most crimes appear to have taken place early Saturday morning (the 17th).

So far, it appears about ten vehicles were damaged. In some cases nothing was stolen. Others told police they were missing things like CDs and coins. One victim had a GPS unit stolen another lost her vehicle registration and owner’s manual.

Anyone with information on these crimes is urged to contact Madison Area Crime Stoppers at 608-266-6014.

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