Man charged in west side burglaries heads to trial

DOJ: 21-year-old allegedly drove friends who broke into homes in July, August
Man charged in west side burglaries heads to trial
Demetrius Bell

A 21-year-old Madison man charged with two counts of burglary and theft in connection with two home burglaries on the west side will go to trial, according to a release.

Demetrius A. Bell was charged with two counts of burglary and two counts of theft as a repeat offender, officials said.

At a preliminary hearing Tuesday, a city of Madison police detective testified that Bell was the driver for two or three of his friends who broke into two homes on Madison’s west side and stole money, gaming systems and video games during late July and early August.

Bell was previously convicted of burglary in Dane County in November 2013.

Bell pawned video games and a controller at two stores that buy and sell used video games and equipment, according to a criminal complaint. Officers said they also found multiple items reported missing during the burglaries in Bell’s residence while executing a search warrant.

During an interview with police, Bell said he got the items he pawned through his participation in a group of three or four persons that would commit burglaries in the Madison area, according to the complaint.

If convicted, Bell faces up to 29 years in prison, a $95,000 fine or both.