West side neighborhoods on alert after burglaries

Police say these burglaries are crimes of opportunity
West side neighborhoods on alert after burglaries

A rash of residential burglaries has police on Madison’s west side on high alert.

Madison police said the Ice Age and Glacier Ridge neighborhoods on Madison’s far west side have been the target of break-ins nearly every day for the past two and a half weeks.

Resident John Romadka was shocked when he caught two of the burglars in the act. A week ago last Sunday, his home surveillance system recorded two men outside his home at 3:30 a.m. One was at the front door, trying to get into his home.

Romadka’s family was inside sleeping. He was out of town for work at the time.

“I don’t even want to think about … if my wife didn’t have the doors locked,” Romadka said.

After a short time, the two suspected burglars are seen in the video leaving, heading to the house next door.

It has become nearly a nightly occurrence in this neighborhood, police said. In a little over two weeks, 15 burglaries have been reported to the Madison Police Department.

“Frankly, we’re not used to this kind of stuff on this side of town,” said Alderman Steve King.

King said it’s been an eye-opener for residents, and it’s brought some neighborhood associations closer and prompted them to become more organized. He said neighbors are starting to pay attention and watch out for one another.

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“I think that’s one of the benefits that has come out of this,” King said. “It’s really heightened awareness in the neighborhood, even the commonsense things, keeping their doors locked and their cars locked.”

Romadka and his family helped with that awareness by sending out fliers and posting the surveillance video online. He said while more awareness is good, and he wants the burglars off the streets.

“I’ve lived in Madison all my life, and I’ll be honest, this isn’t the way that I grew up, feeling unsafe in Madison,” Romadka said.

Madison police said these are crimes of opportunity, meaning there have been no forced break-ins. All of the cases have involved unlocked doors and open garages, police said.

Police said people should use common sense by keeping their homes locked and their belongings secured.  

People can view the surveillance video here: http://youtu.be/ObTmXC8XHPc.

Police said if anyone recognizes the two men in the video, they should contact the police.