Armed robbery prompts east side neighborhood to come together, be stronger community

Armed robbery prompts east side neighborhood to come together, be stronger community

In the 11 years Don Stiemke has lived on Rustic Woods Court on Madison’s east side, he’s never seen any problems. That changed around 9:00 p.m. Saturday, when an armed robber forced his way into a neighbor’s home.

“We heard some sirens and we were just playing a game in our front living room area and didn’t think much of it. Then we thought, ‘Oh, it sounds like police cars.’ We looked out the window and said, ‘Oh wait, they’re outside!'” Stiemke said.

He said he was scared by the large police presence.

“You just don’t see that sort of thing, especially in our neighborhood,” Stiemke said.

His neighbors across the street, a family of five, were victims of an armed robbery. Madison police quickly responded, and found the homeowner, a man in his 40s, hurt.

District 16 Alder Denise DeMarb said she received a call from an officer about the home invasion.

“A man barged in and demanded money, and then there was a bit of a tussle, I believe. I think the guy was punched,” DeMarb said.

She said she was also told the resident was cut. He was taken by ambulance to the hospital, where he was treated for minor injuries.

Stiemke said officers brought in K-9 units to search the area for the suspect. They then knocked on doors in the area to get any further information.

Police are still looking for the suspect and describe him as a black man in his 20s, around 6 feet tall and weighing 180-200 pounds. He was last seen wearing a black hoodie and jeans.

DeMarb said the incident was unsettling to hear, especially in such a safe area.

“I was shocked, of course, and I feel terrible for the family that this happened to,” DeMarb said.

She wants others living in the area to know, it’s still a safe place, but to stay alert.

“I think they should be watchful, of course, but also remember that coming together and being stronger as a community is a way to be safe,” DeMarb said.