Police: Menacing panhandler arrested in downtown Madison

Man took money from students, ran
Police: Menacing panhandler arrested in downtown Madison

A Madison man was arrested Thursday night after asking two high school students after allegedly lying about needing money, and then stealing more than they were intending to give.

According to a report from Madison police, Phillip C. Stephens, 33, of Madison, approached two high school students who were dining on State Street and asked them for money  for baby formula.

One of the students agreed to give Phillips money. According to the report, the student planned on giving $10, but realized the intended bill was stuck to a $20 bill.

His friend attempted to trade a $5 bill for the mistaken $20, but according to the release, Phillps took $5 and fled with the total $35.

The students alerted police who tracked down Phillips, and found drug paraphernalia and learned he had no connection with a small child in need of formula.

The money was returned to the students. Phillips was arrested on charges of possessing drug paraphernalia on a probation hold and menacing panhandling