Police Incident Reports

Incidents listed are selected by the Officer In Charge of each shift that may have significant public interest. Incidents listed are not inclusive of all incidents. Requests for information can be directed to the MPD Records Unit: (608) 266-4075.

Incident Report for Case #2012-72129

Incident Type

Theft

Incident Date

03/18/2012 - 11:31 AM

Address

Immanuel Lutheran Church, 1021 Spaight St.

Arrested

Male, age 50, Madison
Suspect was cited and released for Theft.

Victim(s)

Male, age 71, Madison

Details

As he walked his wife into church that Sunday morning, he slung his "Boss of the Plains” onto a peg of the Immanuel Lutheran Church’s basement rack. The classic Stetson cost him $125 a quarter of a century ago, but as an investigating officer noted in his report: “its sentimental value is far greater than mere dollars and cents.” Services started at 10:30 a.m., and it would be 45 minutes before the 71-year old Stetson owner would return to the rack to fetch his prized “Hat of the West.” Not there. That which he had worn atop of his head for 25 years was gone. Another man his age might have not known what to do, but not this crime victim. For over 40 years ago he had worn the badge of the MPD. Now the former officer, his wife riding shotgun, was driving the neighborhood near the church. He was on a manhunt, searching for clues. He spotted a good one at the corner of Jenifer and Baldwin Streets. There, walking on the sidewalk, was a man wearing his signature black felt. The pursuit evolved into a foot chase with a passerby helping the former cop detain the suspect while police were called. The suspect wanted an officer to arrest the Stetson owner, claiming he was the victim of a “physical assault.” However, the passerby told the officer that the 71-year old did not strike, did not slap, or in any way harm the alleged thief. He merely “kept a firm grasp on his arm” until police were on scene. An officer told the suspect he was hardly in a position to demand anything be done with the man from whom he had stolen. The suspect asserted he had just found the hat “lying around and picked it up.” The former officer knew this not to be true because he had seen the man in the church basement drinking coffee and eating cookies at the time he had hung his hat. Being a man who had just been to church, he told the officer he was reluctant to see the subject physically arrested, or banned from Immanuel Lutheran, but “nonetheless felt some accountability would be in order,” according to the officer’s report. It was agreed upon that the suspect would be given a misdemeanor citation for theft. The former officer collected his undamaged Stetson, and his partner, and headed home from a tour of duty, which was just supposed to be going to church.

Released 03/27/2012 at 2:19 PM by PIO Joel DeSpain

The location shown is approximate & may not be accurate.