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Madison police advise students to cut burglary risk

October 8, 2009 By John Lucas

Madison and UW police department officials are reminding students to cut their risk of becoming victims of a burglary in their off-campus house or apartment.

MPD is seeking information about a pair of burglaries the evening of Oct. 4
on the 500 block of West Doty Street. UW–Madison students were victims in both cases.

In the first incident, a 20-year-old man was asleep inside when he heard shuffling noises in his kitchen. He went to investigate and found a man who claimed to be looking for a friend’s party, according to Madison police.

The intruder left, but it was later discovered that a window on a back door had been broken. Nothing was missing from the residence, but a laptop and cell phone were reported stolen from a separate home on the same block 30 minutes later.

No one was at the second residence from which a phone and computer were taken. A glass door on the second home was also broken.

Police describe the suspect as a black man in his 40s with a thin build and scruffy beard. He reportedly had a coarse voice and was wearing a black ski cap.

In general, police are warning about incidents of valuables being taken, either through unlocked doors, cut screens or forced entry. Police are suggesting the following ways to protect your belongings and yourself:

– Keep your doors and windows locked, even when home.

– Keep valuables stored out of plain sight.

– Be wary of people who don’t appear to belong in the area.

– Don’t buzz people you don’t know into your building.

– Never prop open an exterior building door.

– Report any safety concerns (non-working hallway or outside lights, locks, etc.) to your property owner or manager immediately.

– Report any crime or suspicion of a crime at once. If police are contacted within the first five minutes, police have a better chance of finding a suspect.

– Anyone with information about the Doty incidents are urged to call Crime Stoppers at 608-266-6014.