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Multiple UW students receive threatening scam calls, police say

Multiple UW students receive threatening scam calls, police say

Police said multiple students received threatening spam phone calls Friday evening near campus.

The city of Madison and University of Wisconsin-Madison police departments said they received reports from international students of scam phone calls.

Police said the victims reported similar experiences, saying the caller, who sounded male, claimed to be a government representative trying to collect taxes. The caller threatened each victim, saying they could be arrested if they did not immediately pay the taxes.

Each victim who reported receiving a call realized it was a scam and did not give the caller money, according to the report.

Police reminded citizens to be wary of scam calls and never give out personal information over the phone. The IRS or other government agencies will not call citizens and require payment over the phone, police said.

Witness info helps police nab suspected pipe thieves

Two people were cited in Oregon Wednesday shortly after reportedly stealing supplies from a downtown Madison construction site, according to a release.

Madison police said witnesses reported seeing a Chevy Suburban pull up to a Parisi Construction site on Chamberlain Avenue at 7:39 p.m. A man jumped out and loaded seven pieces of cast iron pipe into the SUV.

Witnesses provided the SUV's license plate information to police, which was associated with an Oregon residence.

Madison officers provided the information to Oregon police, and an officer was able to intercept the suspected thieves as they pulled into the Oregon home. The stolen cast iron pipes were found in the SUV.

Julio J.L. Sanchez, 31, was cited on suspicion of theft, according to the report. Shelia M. Sanchez, 59, was cited on suspicion of party to the crime of theft.

Suspected graffiti artist attacks employees, police say

Suspected graffiti artist attacks employees, police say

Three employees of State Street businesses were attacked after one of them confronted a man suspected of tagging several buildings with graffiti.

Police said an employee of Osaka Lounge in the 500 block of State Street noticed a man leaving purple graffiti on Pipefitters Monday night and confronted the man, who tried to punch him. Two employees of Soga Restaurant came to help, and one got kicked and the other punched in the process of holding the man until officers arrived.

"The suspect begins swinging at the victim, trying to punch him," Madison Police Department spokesman Joel DeSpain said. "Two more employees from a nearby restaurant come out. Eventually one of them is kicked by the suspect and another is punched, and eventually they tackle him until police get there a few minutes later."

Officers said they found seven buildings tagged with purple spray paint.

Police arrest driver who blows more than 3 times legal limit

Police arrest driver who blows more than 3 times legal limit

A routine traffic stop turned into a drunken-driving arrest for a driver who police say was three times over the legal limit.

University of Wisconsin-Madison police said an officer stopped a car at the intersection of South Park Street and West Washington Avenue around 11 p.m. Friday. The officer pulled the driver over for a defective tail light.

When he approached the car, the officer noticed a strong smell of alcohol. He also saw 48-year-old Robert Mueller, of Fitchburg, had bloodshot and watery eyes.

Mueller admitted to drinking beer, and a preliminary breath test showed his blood alcohol content was 0.268 percent.

According to a release from UWPD, Mueller was arrested on charges of fifth-offense operating while intoxicated, which is a felony charge.

Mueller was booked into the Dane County Jail.

Man connected to string of downtown thefts sentenced

Man connected to string of downtown thefts sentenced

A Madison man will spend six years in prison after he pleaded guilty to robbery and burglary charges.

Kendredge Dillard pleaded guilty to a string of thefts in the campus and downtown areas last year.

Police said Dillard was connected to 25-30 robberies in the Vilas and Greenbush neighborhoods that involved stolen wallets, small electronics and iPhones.

A criminal complaint states that in an Oct. 23 robbery in the 500 block of Mifflin Street, the victim came home and went into his bathroom. A robber entered the bathroom with a gun and demanded his phone and wallet. Once the robber left, the victim yelled outside the building for someone to stop the robber.

The victim identified Dillard from an array of photos as the man who robbed him, according to police.

Dillard was also sentenced to six years of probation.

Police: Man seen taking backpack from car, cutting cords

Police: Man seen taking backpack from car, cutting cords

Police said a man was arrested on suspicion of theft after a witness saw him take a backpack from a downtown man's car Thursday morning.

Madison police said a 20-year-old man left his car unlocked for a couple minutes at 9:40 a.m. on the 100 block of of North Bassett Street. As the man ran inside his residence, another man entered the car and took the man' s backpack, which contained a laptop.

A neighbor saw the alleged crime and called police, according to a release. The witness told police the thief had cut the power cord off a window air conditioner after taking the backpack.

The witness gave police a description of the suspected thief and said he was on a bicycle pulling a bike trailer.

Officers saw 60-year-old Ray A. Wallace of Madison on North Frances Street, the report said. Wallace was bent over a utility box where wires were exposed. Police said officers found the stolen backpack in Wallace's bike trailer along with numerous electrical cords.

Theft of smartphone by passing cyclist prompts property security reminder

Theft of smartphone by passing cyclist prompts property security reminder

A bicyclist grabbed a woman's cell phone from her hand as she stood in downtown Madison Wednesday night, according to a release. The reported theft prompted Madison police to remind residents to be aware of their surroundings to prevent similar thefts.

Police said a 34-year-old Sun Prairie woman was looking down at her iPhone while standing on Wisconsin Avenue and East Dayton Street at 8:44 p.m. A young bicyclist pedaling past the woman grabbed the phone from her hand.

Madison police spokesman Joel DeSpain said citizens should be cautious of losing touch with their surroundings when using small, expensive electronics.

"One veteran MPD sergeant likes to compare holding an iPhone ... to clutching a stack of $100 bills in your hand," DeSpain said. "You would not nonchalantly walk around holding those -- or leave them sitting somewhere -- and similar precautions are advised for protecting pricey electronics."