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Effort Will Educate Drivers & Target Thieves

In an effort to deter a perennial April problem, members of the Madison Police Department's (MPD) Central District team will launch a new proactive crime fighting initiative starting Friday, April 1st. It will be called "Project 403."

MPD crime analysts have found, over the past several years, the number of downtown car break-ins spike in the month of April, particularly in MPD sector 403. This sector is bordered by Wisconsin Ave., Gorham St., University Ave., and Lake St. It is an area of concentrated parking with great numbers of vehicles on streets, lots, and in ramps.

The MPD's problem-solving initiative will be twofold, according to Central District Lt. Dave McCaw. "We will be going car to car and leafleting under windshield wipers our "lock it or lose it" brochure," said Lt. McCaw. He added, "This is to remind people to leave nothing of value in their vehicles: GPS units, cameras, laptop computers, cell phones, to name a few."

Leafleting will primarily be done during daylight hours.

The initiative's other component will be enforcement. There will be a stepped-up police presence. Officers might be in uniform or in street clothes. They might be in marked squads or unmarked cars. The might be on foot or on bicycle. All will be looking to catch thieves and reduce the number of April break-ins, with the help of downtown community members.

Patrol officers, Community Police Team (CPT) officers, and the Langdon Street Neighborhood Officer will all be part of the joint effort.


  • Joel DeSpain, 266-4897
  • Lt. Dave McCaw, 266-4482