Crimes Your Neighbors are Talking About

by Safety Connection

July 17, 2023

Thieves breaking into locked apartment garages, climbing balconies and removing screens from homes to find unlocked windows—these are just a few of the crimes Madison-area neighbors are talking about right now.

Last month police told us that people were breaking into locked apartment garages—especially in Middleton and on the west side of Madison—and then smashing windows of vehicles inside to retrieve valuables. Several days ago a woman reported on the Ring Neighbors app that her apartment garage was broken into on Ritz Road (off Midtown Road on the far west side). The thief smashed her passenger side window (pictured) to check out a purse that was left behind and they also started her car (but didn’t take it). Another neighbor at that apartment complex said he spoke to a maintenance person who was cleaning up the broken glass. That man said that “many packages were [recently] stolen from multiple units throughout the neighborhood.”

On Reddit an alert went out to people living near American Parkway after thieves climbed an elevated apartment balcony (more than 8 feet high) to access an unlocked sliding door. They entered an apartment including the bedroom where the homeowner and partner were sleeping. A responding officer told them that there have been at least 4 break-ins in the last 2 weeks and that in one break-in thieves removed screens from 4 different residences until they discovered an open window to enter through.

On Saturday (7/15) just after 1am multiple callers reported to police that they heard glass breaking at a nearby home in the 100 block of North Butler Street in downtown Madison. Responding officers found forced entry and then located and arrested a 29-year-old man who was still in the area. He had injured hands, and neighbors were also able to provide a description. Before being arrested he tried kicking officers and “walking up a brick wall”. He was arrested for burglary, resisting and criminal damage to property.

And just a reminder that the Dane County Sheriff’s office is seeing an uptick in vehicles being broken into at dog parks in Dane County. A woman in Token Creek reported her window was smashed and a purse stolen. Three people parked at Verona dog parks were also recent victims.

To help protect yourself from being the next victim of crimes like these, double and triple-check that your home, vehicles and garage are locked at all times (especially overnight), and keep all valuables (or anything that could be misinterpreted as valuable) out of sight.

The Sheriffs department says “anyone who sees someone committing a break-in should call 911 immediately and avoid confronting the person directly.”

If you have information about a crime that has already occurred, you can call the non-emergency number at 608-255-2345 or report your information anonymously to Madison Area Crime Stoppers at 608-266-6014 or online at

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