MPD IDENTIFIES BUSINESS BURGLARS

January 27, 2011

North & Central District Crime Spree Ends

A series of smash-and-grab style business burglaries appears to have ended with the recent identification of four suspects. The crime spree had plagued the Madison Police Department's (MPD) Central and North Districts over the past few months, with MPD
crime analysts identifying 25 pattern burglaries having occurred since October, 2010. In the police vernacular, these are considered crimes that fit the same M.O. - modus operandi.

In most cases, glass doors were smashed by criminals targeting cash registers and cigarettes. They were in and out in a minute or two, thus making apprehension by responding officers difficult.

The suspects, all Madison area teenagers, have been tentatively charged in two cases, and remain suspects in others.

Arrested are:

1. Bennie D. Fleming, age 19, Madison

Mr. Fleming has been tentatively charged with the December 28th, 2010 burglary of Deon's Live Bait gas station and convenience store, 2301 Commercial Ave. (see Incident Report #2010-369373 for details).

He was also tentatively charged with the burglary to Hempen Goods, 911 Williamson Street. This crime took place a few hours prior to the Deon's break-in (see Incident Report #2010-369373)

Mr. Fleming had been arrested on May 31st, 2010 by the MPD for a smash-and-grab bar burglary at Murphy's Tavern, 3737 E. Washington Ave. (see Incident Report #2010-148832).

2. Male, age 16, Madison

Teen has been tentatively charged with the December 28th, 2010 burglary of Deon's Live Bait gas station and convenience store, 2301 Commercial Ave. (see Incident Report #2010-369373).

3. Jonathan Louis Crafton, age 17, Madison

Mr. Crafton has been tentatively charged with the December 27th, 2010, smash-and-grab burglary at Bottle Stop Liquor, 2734 E. Washington Ave.

Mr. Crafton has been tentatively charged with the December 28th, 2010 burglary of Deon's Live Bait gas station and convenience store, 2301 Commercial Ave. (see Incident Report #2010-369373).

4. Male, age 16, Madison

Teen has also been tentatively charged with the December 27th, 2010, smash-and-grab burglary at Bottle Stop Liquor, 2734 E. Washington Ave.

Teen has been tentatively charged with the December 28th, 2010 burglary of Deon's Live Bait gas station and convenience store, 2301 Commercial Ave. (see Incident Report #2010-369373).

The MPD brought the recent non-residential burglary spike to the public's attention in early December (see Incident Report #2010-350142 for details). Since that time, patrol officers, crime analysts, and detectives have been working in partnership with the business community to put an end to the crime wave.

The successful resolution came after citizens provided similar descriptions of a getaway car, spotted leaving two burglary scenes: the December 28th break-ins at Hempen Goods and at Deon's - both listed above. As it turned out, the vehicle did not belong to any of the suspects, but crime analysts figured out Mr. Fleming had access to a car similar to what witnesses had seen. The analysts were able to make the connection because one witness provided a partial license plate number for the getaway car. Crime analysts took the partial plate information and ran it through systems available to them. They came up with a March police report regarding a possible theft. In that report, another witness gave officers a complete license plate number for a potential getaway car. During the theft investigation that car was connected to Mr. Fleming. It turned out to be his girlfriend's mother's car. The full plate number referenced in the theft case contained the aforementioned partial plate number. Crime analysts were now able to provide detectives with the name of a possible suspect: Bennie Fleming. This proved to be a major break in the crime spree.

As is often the case, witness tips provided the intelligence the department needed, and the MPD would like to thank Madisonians for continuing to work with us as we all strive to make this the safest and best community possible.

Contact:
  • Joel DeSpain, 266-4897