A Madison man was robbed at gunpoint while walking into his building Tuesday evening.

The incident occurred at 9:45 p.m. on the 400 block of West Main Street, according to Madison Police Department Sgt. Jason Ostrenga. MPD arrested 19-year-old Alex Mann for armed robbery Wednesday evening, Ostrenga said.

The 29-year-old victim parked his car and was walking toward his building when Man approached him from behind, according to an MPD statement.

The statement said Mann pointed a silver handgun at the victim and told him to drop the bag he was carrying. In addition to taking the victim’s bag, Mann also ordered him to hand over his cell phone and wallet, according to the statement. The victim proceeded to hand over the requested items, the statement said.

According to the statement, Mann instructed the victim to wait until he was gone before calling the police. The victim did not report any injuries, the statement said.

“This was a very disturbing incident,” Ald. Mike Verveer, District 4, said. “I was concerned and troubled about the use of a handgun.”

While robberies are common downtown, it is rare for handguns to be produced, Verveer said.

According to Ostrenga, MPD located Mann on the 800 block of East Washington Avenue. MPD took Mann in for questioning Wednesday afternoon, before obtaining enough evidence to charge him, he said. Mann is now in custody and is being charged with one count of armed robbery, he said.

The detailed description given by the victim contributed to locating Mann and bringing him in for questioning, Ostrenga said.

The incident occurred in the Bassett neighborhood, Verveer said, where the number one crime in the neighborhood is burglary, a non-violent crime.

Ostrenga said robberies do not often occur in the area, particularly armed robberies. The neighborhood is not prone to these sorts of weapons violations, Verveer added.

Verveer said most robberies and muggings in the area involve the threat of physical violence. It is rare for a handgun to be used, he said.

“I hope [armed robberies] do not become a trend in the neighborhood,” Verveer said.


Mann was arrested at 827 E. Washington Avenue, where he was staying at a warming shelter. The detectives found the gun he used in the burglary, along with the victim’s laptop, according to a MPD report.

MPD Central District detectives used the laptop’s tracking technology to find the general location of the computer after the victim reported it being stolen, the statement said.

The gun recovered was a BB gun, but MPD spokesperson Joel DeSpain said the officer who found it thought it was a real gun until he held it and realized it felt lighter than a real gun.

DeSpain said since the suspect committed a crime with a gun in hand, it does not change the tentative charge of the arrest.

DeSpain said MPD has used similar tracking technology quite often to find stolen property.

“We are just pleased we can use technology to locate…stolen property or missing property,” DeSpain said. “In this case not only did we find stolen property, but it led us to an armed robbery suspect.”

The cell phone and money stolen was not recovered, Despain added.

-Elaine Menigo contributed to this report.