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Officers focus on 3 areas to enforce speed, red-light-turn laws

Officers focus on 3 areas to enforce speed, red-light-turn laws

Police said officers are focusing on three areas of Madison this week to reduce traffic violations.

The Madison Police Department's traffic enforcement safety team will enforce speed limits on the eastbound Beltline Highway on Madison's west side and on the north side on Wright Street, according to a statement released Tuesday.

Officers will also be enforcing restrictions on East Washington Avenue in areas where right turns at red lights are restricted.

The special enforcement team regularly conducts targeted patrols to promote compliance with traffic laws.

Fake utility scams employee out of $850

Fake utility scams employee out of $850

Police said a Madison south employee lost $850 last week to scammers pretending to represent a local utility company. 

The Madison Police Department said a La Movida employee received a phone call at 11 a.m. Friday from people claiming to be with Madison Gas & Electric. The callers told the 24-year-old that La Movida was two months behind on the company electric bill and services would be cut in 24 hours if it did not receive payment. 

The scammer told the 24-year-old employee to load funds on prepaid Green Dot cards, then give the card numbers to the fake utility representative. After the employee provided the money through the cards, the scammers called again saying more money was needed. 

The employee then called police to report the fraud. 

La Movida is at 1823 S. Park St. 

Police: 4 women arrested outside bank; elderly man keeps $5k

Police: 4 women arrested outside bank; elderly man keeps $5k

Police said an attempt to deceive an elderly man out of thousands of dollars and a fight at a near west side bank Thursday were related incidents. 

The Madison Police Department said officers responded to the BMO Harris Bank at 401 N. Segoe Road at 4:05 p.m. for a disturbance in the parking lot and a suspicious request of money inside the bank.

Police said an 87-year-old Madison man was at the bank to withdraw $5,000.

Police spokesman Joel DeSpain said the elderly man told police the money was to give to a woman in the parking lot, 22-year-old Printella C. Lightfoot, of Madison, who needed help paying an electric bill.

"The officer suggested that his 'friend' might actually be trying to take advantage of his generosity," DeSpain said. "After some thought, the victim agreed he was being deceived and decided to put the money back in the bank."

Burglars strike west side neighborhood 14 times in 1 week

Burglars strike west side neighborhood 14 times in 1 week

Madison police are investigating 14 burglaries in the west district in the past week, mostly along the Raymond Road corridor.

Police said the burglars typically ring the doorbell or knock and if no one is home they return and force their way in. Stolen items include cash, jewelry and small electronics.

"Things people can do to make it look like they're home if they're not: leave a radio on, leave a television on, keep a light on a timer. That sort of thing can really go a long way toward preventing these. Probably the most important thing is for people to know their neighbors and just be aware of what's going on in their neighborhood," Madison Police Department West District Capt. Victor Wahl said.

Wahl said there are likely a few groups at work.

"I don't think it is one group that's doing all of them but we do think there are groups that are involved in multiple burglaries and selling the stolen items for cash," Wahl said.

Police offer burglary prevention tips

Police offer burglary prevention tips

A daytime burglary of a residence on St. James Court Tuesday prompted police to warn University of Wisconsin-Madison students headed out of town for spring break this month to take steps to prevent similar crimes. 

In a statement Wednesday morning, Madison Police Department spokesman Joel DeSpain suggested downtown residents lock doors on homes, garages and vehicles and secure sliding doors and windows. 

"Deadbolts are best," DeSpain said. "But utilize whatever type you have even when you are at home."

In securing vehicles, valuables such as GPS units should not be left in plain view. Police suggested drivers bring any valuables inside or put them in the trunk.

Man strikes pole, flees downtown crash scene, UWPD says

Man strikes pole, flees downtown crash scene, UWPD says

Police said a Madison man is suspected of a third drunken driving offense Tuesday after he drove a car into a pole and left the scene. 

The University of Wisconsin-Madison Police Department said at about 2:23 a.m., a motorist flagged down a UWPD officer to notify him of a possible hit-and-run crash. 

The officer found a vacant damaged vehicle that had struck a light pole at the intersection of Fish Hatchery Road and South Park Street, according to the report. The vehicle was locked and the driver was gone.

Police said officers obtained a description of the driver and found 44-year-old Sean S. Lee walking along Brooks Street a short time later.

Lee was arrested on suspicion of third-offense operating while intoxicated and failure to notify police of an accident.

UWPD said Lee's preliminary blood alcohol content was 0.11.

Pedestrian injured in crash charged with 'sudden movement'

Pedestrian injured in crash charged with 'sudden movement'

A 15-year-old boy was cited on suspicion of sudden pedestrian movement after he was struck by a car Wednesday afternoon near West Towne Mall, police said. 

The Madison Police Department said the teen was with a group of young people crossing Mineral Point Road at 12:37 p.m. The group had crossed the eastbound lanes of Mineral Point, heading away from West Towne Mall, and were on the median about to cross the westbound lanes. 

The report said westbound traffic had a green light and the 15-year-old darted out in front of a car. The 69-year-old Cross Plains woman driving the car didn't have time to stop and hit the teen.

The 15-year-old was taken to the hospital with non-life-threatening injuries, police said. He was cited on suspicion of sudden pedestrian movement. 

The woman driving the car that struck the boy was not cited, police said.