Local News

Residents react to armed robberies in Vilas Neighborhood

Two men with handgun break into homes, steal electronics

MADISON, Wis. - A pair of robberies that happened this week in the same neighborhood have police looking for the pair to blame.

Armed robbers have hit two homes over the course of 72 hours, police said. The men seem to be targeting college-aged residents and their expensive electronics.

The first incident happened Sunday around 11:00 p.m. in the 1200 block of Vilas Avenue. Police said two men broke through the window of an off-campus student house and threatened two men inside with a handgun, yelling at them to "get on the ground".

Police said they unplugged and stole a number of electronics from the home.

Just after 2 a.m. Tuesday, a man told a student living in the 1600 block of Adams Street he would shoot her before forcing his way into the house with a handgun. He took a laptop, and a roommate told police he ran off with another man. The pair matched a similar description to those at the Vilas Avenue crime.

"It's really important we get these guys off the street, this is very dangerous," Madison Police South District Capt. Joe Balles said, "I encourage folks to call Crime Stoppers with any information that would help us lead to the arrest and apprehension of these two individuals."

Sgt. Scott Kleinfeldt was out Tuesday night, handing out flyers and telling neighbors how to protect themselves and their valuables.

University of Wisconsin-Madison student Kevin Hayes has lived on Adams Street for three years and said the worst that's happened to his house is some screens being broken.

Residents react to armed robberies in Vilas Neighborhood

"After this happened we'll probably be taking out the fans every night, closing the windows, making sure they're locked," Hayes said.

Steve Piotrowski has lived in his Adams Street home for almost three decades. He said he's always felt safe.

"Just a smart way to live your life, secure things instead of leaving them open," Piotrowski said.

With these robbers seemingly targeting younger residents and their high-tech valuables, Piotrowski is confident police will catch the two men soon.

"I try not to live my life in fear," Piotrowski said.

If you have any information that can help track down the two men wanted for armed robbery, call Madison's Crime Stoppers at 608-266-6014.

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