MIFFLIN STREET: Robbery

A 49-year-old man’s money and laptop were stolen from his home on the 1300 block of East Mifflin Street at around 2:30 a.m. Saturday.

According to a Madison Police Department statement, there was no sign of forced entry but the victim heard rustling noises that awoke him. According to the statement, his living room lights were turned on and there were footprints of snow leading from his front door to his living room, which is where his belongings were taken from.

MPD spokesperson Joel DeSpain said he has not heard any leads on the burglary yet, but many laptops have tracking technology on them that allows them to pinpoint the laptop’s location.

He said MPD also monitors pawn shops and similar establishments to track if any stolen items are sold there. He said MPD frequently retrieves stolen items from pawn shops.

MPD also frequently retrieves large amounts of stolen property from the residents of burglars they arrest. He said there are many citizen activists who monitor Craigslist and will contact MPD if they think they have located a stolen item on the website. DeSpain cited an example of a woman who recently worked with MPD to locate a stolen bicycle on Craigslist.

“We encourage people to go around their residences and video tape valuable property and record serial numbers,” DeSpain said.

DeSpain said if a laptop is stolen, it is easier to find if the owner knows the serial number. Small electronics are frequently the target of burglars, he added. 

He said he encourages people to not leave laptops unattended. DeSpain emphasized keeping them out of eyesight in your dorm or apartment so it is not easy for people who burglarize to come in and take them.

GILMAN STREET: Battery

A 21-year-old man was arrested early Sunday morning after he attacked two Madison men, resulting in one of them receiving a chipped tooth on the 400 block of West Gilman Street.

According to the MPD statement, Paris Reese confronted one of the men, who was with a group of his friends. One of his friends attempted to break up the two men, but Reese started punching both of the men, the statement said.

DeSpain said Reese did not know the group of men but shouted something about protecting his sister’s honor. DeSpain said it is not clear what he was talking about, because there were few women in the area and the men in the group were unsure why Reese had become so outraged.

The statement said officers from MPD’s Central District Community Police Team were on routine patrol in the area when they saw the fight and went to break it up. The statement said one of the victims had received a chipped tooth.

DeSpain said incidents like this one occur most frequently in the downtown area, particularly around bar time. He said the alcohol-fueled fights that take place in this area are sometimes an attack, and sometimes involve two people in mutual combat.

Ald. Mike Verveer, District 4, said random attacks like this one are too common downtown, particularly around bar time in the entertainment district.

He said it is fortunate MPD was in the right place at the right time to break up the fight and arrest the suspect.

“This story is all too common – strangers fighting for no reason,” Verveer said. “A combination of alcohol and testosterone usually motivates people to act out in this manner.”