MADISON, Wis. – UW Police are investigating a string of theft from auto incidents at University Hospital.
“We had an unusually high number of break-ins, particularly this past weekend,” Marc Lovicott, UW Police spokesperson, said. “Most of them were over at the University Hospital ramp, Lot 75, in which an individual used some sort of hard object to break windows and try to get valuables out of people’s vehicles.”
In a separate case, News 3 Now intern Emilie Burditt was a victim of a theft from auto incident on Saturday, when her car was broken into on a downtown Madison street overnight.
#News3Now intern had her car broken into over the weekend. Her purse and wallet were stolen. The window was broken and she’s waiting for her new credit card to come in the mail before she can get it fixed. pic.twitter.com/8RNESyqlmz
— Gabriella Bachara (@GabbyBachara) July 29, 2019
“I was shocked,” Burditt said. “I also felt scared because I knew that I had then been the victim of a crime.”
The thief broke her front passenger window and took her purse out of a backpack in the backseat of her car. Inside her purse was her wallet, including driver’s license, student ID, voter ID, a credit card and three dollars.
“Going forward, I wouldn’t keep anything valuable, even if it’s hidden,” Burditt said. “I didn’t think anyone would want to go after what looks like a college kid’s backpack, but obviously they thought there might be something valuable in there, and there was.
In Madison, the percentage of theft from auto incidents has decreased by about 25 percent in the first six months of 2019, according to Madison Police Spokesperson Joel DeSpain.
DeSpain said most theft from auto cases in Madison involve suspects checking for unlocked cars, rather than smashing windows.
“What we generally see is a criminal walking through a neighborhood and just checking doors, and they’re looking for anything that is unlocked,” DeSpain said.
Officials recommend keeping valuables hidden, in the trunk or not in a car at all.
“We really encourage people from getting things out of plain view when you’re parking your car,” DeSpain said.
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