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Crime

Scammers steal name of area business to scam student renters

For many years rental properties have remained one of the few industries to rarely be targeted for scams. Madison Police Department officials say that has now changed.

They say someone has been targeting college students renting properties in Madison. It involves someone putting letters under the doors of rental properties informing the tenant of a new online rent system.

To encourage the tenant to sign up for the new program the letter offers a $215 credit off of the next month's rent. The letter asks the tenant to email them their name, date of birth and Social Security number. They also ask the tenant to include a credit card number, and the card's security code and expiration date.

Officers focus on 3 areas to enforce speed, red-light-turn laws

Officers focus on 3 areas to enforce speed, red-light-turn laws

Police said officers are focusing on three areas of Madison this week to reduce traffic violations.

The Madison Police Department's traffic enforcement safety team will enforce speed limits on the eastbound Beltline Highway on Madison's west side and on the north side on Wright Street, according to a statement released Tuesday.

Officers will also be enforcing restrictions on East Washington Avenue in areas where right turns at red lights are restricted.

The special enforcement team regularly conducts targeted patrols to promote compliance with traffic laws.

Woman arrested on OWI charges after hitting 5 cars

Woman arrested on OWI charges after hitting 5 cars

Madison police said a woman who hit numerous vehicles while trying to flee the scene of an accident is in the Dane County Jail on charges of operating a vehicle while intoxicated.

The incident happened just after midnight in the 500 block of West Mifflin Street.

According to police, multiple callers to the 911 center said a red Jeep Cherokee driven by Taylor Barney, 21, of Madison, was involved in an accident. As the callers were on the phone, the Jeep crashed into another parked vehicle.

Police said Barney drove her Jeep around the block before returning to the 500 block of West Mifflin and colliding with several other vehicles. Police said Barney was located, identified as the driver and refused to take a breath test.

Police offer burglary prevention tips

Police offer burglary prevention tips

A daytime burglary of a residence on St. James Court Tuesday prompted police to warn University of Wisconsin-Madison students headed out of town for spring break this month to take steps to prevent similar crimes. 

In a statement Wednesday morning, Madison Police Department spokesman Joel DeSpain suggested downtown residents lock doors on homes, garages and vehicles and secure sliding doors and windows. 

"Deadbolts are best," DeSpain said. "But utilize whatever type you have even when you are at home."

In securing vehicles, valuables such as GPS units should not be left in plain view. Police suggested drivers bring any valuables inside or put them in the trunk.

Man strikes pole, flees downtown crash scene, UWPD says

Man strikes pole, flees downtown crash scene, UWPD says

Police said a Madison man is suspected of a third drunken driving offense Tuesday after he drove a car into a pole and left the scene. 

The University of Wisconsin-Madison Police Department said at about 2:23 a.m., a motorist flagged down a UWPD officer to notify him of a possible hit-and-run crash. 

The officer found a vacant damaged vehicle that had struck a light pole at the intersection of Fish Hatchery Road and South Park Street, according to the report. The vehicle was locked and the driver was gone.

Police said officers obtained a description of the driver and found 44-year-old Sean S. Lee walking along Brooks Street a short time later.

Lee was arrested on suspicion of third-offense operating while intoxicated and failure to notify police of an accident.

UWPD said Lee's preliminary blood alcohol content was 0.11.

Downtown resident robbed at gunpoint Sunday morning

Downtown resident robbed at gunpoint Sunday morning

A 33-year-old was robbed at gunpoint early Sunday morning in downtown Madison, according to a release.

The downtown resident was walking on South Bedford Street around 2:45 a.m. when a man approached him, pointed a handgun at him and demanded money, officials said.

The 22-year-old ran away from the robber, according to the release. As he fled, he saw the robber get into a red SUV parked nearby.

The robber is described as a 20- to 30-year-old man, 5 feet 8 inches tall and weighs about 140-160 pounds. He was wearing a dark blue winter coat over a gray hooded sweatshirt that was pulled tight around his face.

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Police: Woman lied about Conklin Place mugging

Police: Woman lied about Conklin Place mugging

Police said a woman who'd reported being robbed last month in downtown Madison told officers she made up the story. 

Madison police spokesman Joel DeSpain said Thursday morning the 19-year-old woman who claimed four men stole her cash and cellphone on Jan. 10 admitted to police the crime never happened. 

The woman had initially told police that men stole her iPhone and money as she was walking on the 500 block of Conklin Place at about 11 p.m.

DeSpain said the police department spent the past month investigating the reported robbery and found "serious inconsistencies" in the woman's statements. She then admitted to investigators she lied.

It was not immediately clear why the woman lied about the mugging or whether she would be charged with a crime.