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The Madison Police Department is investigating a series of robberies that have targeted citizens who were either exiting a bus or walking on the sidewalks in a very specific area on the west side of Madison.

There have been 7 reported robberies fitting a similar pattern since 2011, continuing into 2012. They frequently have involved violence or intimidation by use of a weapon, and have occurred in the Sheboygan Avenue/Eau Claire Avenue area. The victims have predominantly been females walking alone. Three of the victims were of Asian descent. There was a language barrier with some of the victims with English as a second language.

These robberies have taken place typically during the work week, between 7:00p.m and 10:00p.m. after darkness has set in. Most of the victims relayed that a male black suspect ran up on them from behind, leading police to believe that the suspect is lying in wait out of sight. It appears the motive is to steal money or electronics. The latest pattern robbery occurred last month on April 10th, (see Incident Report #2012-94994). The first of the pattern was reported on February 16th, 2011 (seen Incident Report #2011-43855).

The Madison Police Department is implementing a coordinated response to investigate these crimes and to educate the public, but needs the community's help identify the perpetrator(s) in these incidents.

If you have information on anyone committing these crimes, call Madison Area Crime Stoppers at 266-6014.

The MPD's Crime Prevention Officer, Frank Chandler, offers these tips on how best to keep safe while walking in the area:

• Someone should always know where you are going and when you will return.

• Always maintain situational awareness. Wearing headphones, talking or texting on a cell phone may distract you. Keep your head up and look around.

• Consider your options in the case of an emergency. Yelling or blowing a whistle can draw attention if you need help.

• Know your location.

• Wearing bright clothing makes it easier for people to find you if you should need help.

• Wear shoes that are secure and won't restrict you if you need to run or protect yourself.

• Keep your hands free whenever possible.

• Walk in well lit areas when possible.

• Walk with others, in well traveled areas.

• Carry identification separate from your valuables. Don't carry more cash or valuables than you need for that outing.

• Carry a cell phone for emergency, but don't ‘advertise' an expensive cell phone.

• Consider what businesses are open near you, and where are the nearest residences.

• Trust your senses. If something feels unsafe, avoid it. Call police immediately.


  • Joel DeSpain, 266-4897