Police: Suspected ‘kingpins’ in string of burglaries, car thefts in custody

The suspected ringleaders of a string of burglaries and car thefts across southern Wisconsin were taken into custody this weekend, police said.

Law enforcement members are optimistic that the arrests will at least put a dent in the number of burglaries and car thefts occurring in the area.

According to police, an iPhone stolen in a burglary in Shorewood Hills started pinging from the intersection of Corona Court and Cimarron Trail on the west side.

Officers were able to track down three suspects, including one alleged ringleader, 24-year-old Cleaster Moon of Madison.

Later, a stolen vehicle was found in the west side Radisson Hotel, which led officers to 17-year-old Joshua Pitts of Madison.

“We believe that Pitts and Moon are two of the kingpins in the burglary and theft ring, which has been impacting a lot of people’s well-being,” DeSpain said.

Madison police credited the arrests to the coordination between multiple area law enforcement agencies as police investigated the onslaught of car-theft cases.

Madison Officer Nick Cleary helped organize a multijurisdictional meeting with area law enforcement about two weeks ago, where information was exchanged that later helped identify the ringleaders.

“We kind of identified them in our big meeting as the two guys who seem the most influential, they’re the most predominant people that we’re identifying,” Cleary said. “Those two names came up constantly, so we kind of looked at it as how do we start our approach to this? And all the agencies together said, ‘You take out the big players to start.’ And that was kind of our goal.”

Moon was arrested Saturday on tentative charges from the Shorewood Hills Police Department of resisting or obstructing officers, receiving stolen property worth less than $2,500, credit card theft by acquisition and burglary. He’s facing tentative charges from Madison police, including operating a motor vehicle without the owner’s consent, burglary, resisting or obstructing police and on a parole violation.

Pitts was arrested by Madison police Sunday morning on tentative charges of knowingly fleeing an officer and burglary.

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