An unidentified suspect robbed a 21-year-old Madison woman Sunday night on West Gilman Street, according to a Madison Police Department statement.

The suspect approached the woman from behind and grabbed her backpack as she walked down the 400 Block of West Gorham Street, the statement said. The suspect made off with several items of clothing and the victim’s wallet, all contained inside the backpack, the statement said.

Although the crime occurred Sunday, the victim did not report the crime until Monday morning, MPD spokesperson Joel DeSpain said. Typically when a robbery occurs, the victim reports it right away, he said.

DeSpain said delays in reporting usually occur if the victim experienced emotional trauma or the suspect is someone the victim knows.

He noted the robbery was unusual because it occurred on a well-travelled road and did not happen too late at night. Robberies are not common in the West Gilman Street area, he added.

Earlier this week, a man grabbed a woman without stealing anything on the 400 block of West Gorham Street. 

To prevent future robberies, DeSpain explained people should be cautious when walking home at night. MPD recommends students or anyone else in the community not walk alone late at night, particularly if they are intoxicated, DeSpain added.

But, he said, in this case there was likely not much the victim could have done.

“In this case I’m not sure much could have been done to prevent [the crime],” DeSpain said. “The suspect came up behind her.”

If presented with a similar situation, DeSpain said he encouraged people not to take the chance of being injured.

The victim was unable to obtain a detailed description of the robber, and according to the statement, MPD has not located the suspect at this time.

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