6 cars stolen in Madison over the weekend; most left unlocked, running

6 cars stolen in Madison over the weekend; most left unlocked, running

The trend of stealing unlocked, often running, cars continued this weekend with six robberies, according to a release from the Madison Police Department.

Most of the robberies also matched the trend of involving young, unlicensed drivers. The Madison Police Department is in the midst of a social media campaign called #NightlyLockup to remind people to lock their cars, officials said.

The first weekend incident took place around 6:05 p.m. Saturday. A 16-year-old girl was arrested in a business parking lot on Mineral Point Road after she was caught unlocking a stolen car. The car was stolen from an address on Northbridge Terrace.

The girl was wearing a GPS bracelet around her ankle, which she told police was for a past car theft conviction. Inside the car there were clothing items with sales tags still attached, and bottles of alcohol, according to the release.

A half an hour later, around 6:30 p.m., an MPD officer found a car that had been stolen from Fitchburg thanks to OnStar tracking. It was found unoccupied on Vondron Road, officials said.

Two 16-year-old boys were arrested around 7:15 p.m. Saturday after police spotted them in a stolen car. They took off from a Verona Road gas station before dumping the car and running from police on Sheffield Road. The car had been stolen from a Middleton man. A couple of the teens got away, according to the release.

A Wisconsin State Patrol trooper reported a stolen car from Madison to the MPD around 3 a.m. Sunday. The car was left abandoned and damaged on Interstate 90 near High Crossing Boulevard. It appeared to have been in a crash.

Early Saturday morning, around 1:30 a.m., a Madison officer had found the front bumper of the same car – with license plate attached – in a Raymond Road. parking lot. It had been stolen on Jan. 3 after its owner left it unlocked, with the key fob inside, while he dined at a Mineral Point Road restaurant, according to the release.

A homeowner in the 5300 block of Valley Edge Drive reported his car was stolen after it was left unattended for a few minutes so it could warm up around 8:50 p.m. Sunday, officials said.

An hour later, around 9:40 p.m., the MPD used OnStar technology to track down a stolen car on the 2400 block of Allied Drive. It had been stolen from a Starr Grass Drive home hours earlier, after the owner left it unlocked and running inside an open garage to go to the bathroom.

The thieves ripped down the rear-view mirror, which contained the OnStar technology. When the vehicle was found, it smelled like marijuana, according to the release.