Happy ending for West Madison burglary victim

By: Max Hess - Email
By: Max Hess - Email

Posted Tuesday, July 15, 2014 -- 10:00 p.m.

Roxanne Barber says what happened yesterday was out of the ordinary.

"One of my neighbors stopped over and she was visibly shaken and upset, trembling," she said.

Her neighbor, who didn't want her house on camera, needed someone to call 911 for her.

Barber said someone came in to her neighbor's garage and took a purse with money, credit cards, and iPad and an iPhone it.

It happened shortly after 3 p.m. Monday, in daylight and in a West Madison neighborhood Barber says is usually quiet.

"I just, you know, was trying to calm her a little bit, she called 9-1-1 and she called her husband," Barber explained.

The good news is, the crooks didn't manage to get away.

Another woman who was walking her dog at a nearby park noticed a purse, which was that of the victim.

A K-9 sniffed the purse and traced it back to Woodman's on Watts Road, which was suspiciously closed to West Towne Mall -- where officers knew some stores buy electronics.

The victim's husband had serial numbers of the electronics written down and also had the "find my iPhone" app installed, which showed the last location was in fact at the mall.

Officers went to the mall, where they found two 14-year-old boys with both the iPad and the iPhone.

After pressure from parents, one of the boys admitted he -- along with his friend -- stole the purse.

The items were returned, providing the perfect happy ending for the victim.

For Barber, it's a crime that makes her nervous -- especially with four young kids.

"I tell them all the time to be careful and not to talk to just anyone," she said.

Madison Police PIO Joel DeSpain says this case "was the result of community and police working together with help from the nose of a well-trained police dog and some helpful modern tracking technology."

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