Madison business owners ‘ecstatic’ with arrest of alleged serial burglar

MADISON, Wis. — Business owners on Madison’s west side say the arrest of a 34-year-old man who police allege is involved in a string of 15 burglaries is a positive step toward justice.

The Madison Police Department announced Wednesday they arrested Tramaine Franklin, of Sun Prairie, last month following the burglaries.

RELATED: Madison police make arrest in countywide string of burglaries 

“I’m ecstatic,” said Ann Marie Dahl, “I’m so happy that the police department kept on top of this.”  

Damage to the door of Dahl Chiropractic

A hole in the door of Dahl Chiropractic. Dahl said repairs cost over $500. Photo: Ann Marie Dahl.

The news brought some light to the dark day months ago when Dahl, a chiropractor, arrived at work to find her door smashed, and glass strewn around her office.  

“(It’s discomforting) just to know that somebody went through my whole space and they opened every cabinet, touched absolutely everything, just made me feel that my personal space had really been violated,” she said. 

Her office was one of the eight inside Clock Tower Court on Mineral Point Road that authorities accused Franklin of breaking into in May. 

“This appears to be a group, and that investigation is ongoing,” said Detective Scott Reitmeier of MPD’s Burglary Crimes Unit. “There are no charges at this time for the others in the group, but some suspects have been identified and we’re working towards that.”

According to Reitmeier, the 15 cases resulted in $17,000 worth of property being stolen and $20,000 in property damage.  

Dahl said the thieves stole about $20 in petty cash and her business’s credit cards from a safe – none of which were used, but the damage could’ve been dangerous to many of her patients.  

“I completely scoured the whole office just making sure that we were clean, no shards of glass — because I take care of a lot of children who are on the floor and we had to really make sure everything was safe,” she said.

Clock Tower Court hallway

Business owners in the plaza band together for repairs. Photo: Erin Hall.

Meanwhile, Erin Hall was the first to discover the burglary when someone broke into his barbershop, Resilient Hair Designs, next door. 

“I got a call from my security company, and once I saw the tape came in (I) called the police,” Hall said. “(They) came in and it was pretty bad. Every building, every store was hit.”   

He had to replace his door as well, but nothing of his was taken.

“I’m happy to hear that they found someone that is responsible for this happening here,” he said. “Unfortunately, there’s a lot of things that are going on in today’s society, so hopefully he can get the help he needs.”

Hall sounded the alarm, calling the rest of the strip mall’s small business owners.

“I think that’s the toughest part is that we’re just common people who are just trying to make a living for our families and trying to provide some services for the community as well,” he said. “It was actually disheartening, especially coming out of a pandemic as we’re trying to get back on our feet.” 

But the community of Clock Tower businesses came together to help each other restore their storefronts and their hope.  

“We have a really good community inside this mall we all take care of each other,” Dahl said, “so I really do feel safe.”  

According to Reitmeier, MPD is working with other agencies in Dane and Rock County to investigate other burglaries Franklin might have played a role in.