Surveillance Video Helps Police Track Down Phone Thief

Posted Tuesday, May 15, 2012 --- 11:04 a.m.

Incident Report from the Madison Police Department:

Incident Type: Theft

Incident Date: 05/14/2012 - 11:24 AM

Address: 311 East Campus Mall (Walgreens)

Arrested: James S. Watts, age 22, Madison
Mr. Watts was arrested for Theft and Felony Bail Jumping.

Victim: Male, age 18, Madison
Victim is a UW-Madison student.

Details: Thanks to some very good Walgreens' surveillance video, a Madison Police officer was able to place theft suspect in handcuffs just about a half-hour after a UW-Madison student had his $800 iPhone 4 stolen. The 18-year old victim had placed it near the cash register as he made purchases at the East Campus Mall Walgreens around 11:30 a.m. Monday morning.

He forgot to pick the phone back up, and when he returned a short time later to fetch it, it was gone. Walgreens' staff showed a responding officer surveillance video that showed the suspect taking the phone. The officer drove up State Street and spotted the man hanging out in a park area just off of the Capitol Square. He claimed the iPhone 4 in his pocket belonged to a guy named "Blue," and he pointed to a someone seated nearby who he identified as "Blue."

The officer could see Chinese lettering in the phone in the place where the owner's name is often listed. She observed "Blue" did not appear to be Chinese. However, the victim is Chinese, and the phone turned out to be his. He said it contained very valuable information including flight information for his upcoming trip home to China. The student got his phone back while the suspect went to jail.

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