MADISON (WKOW) -- Madison police officials say the attack and robbery of Badger quarterback Tanner McEvoy was apparently the latest in a rash of rip-offs of smart phones, and not related to his football celebrity.
Police spokesperson Joel DeSpain says McEvoy was returning home around bar time July 21 on Wisconsin Avenue when someone on a bicycle, and another witness also returning home saw the lightning quick attack on the 20-year old, six foot six inch McEvoy.
DeSpain says witnesses say two African American men and two African American women ran from the crime scene toward the state capitol.
"The attack that took place on Wisconsin Avenue, we believe at this point, based on evidence we have so far, was very random," DeSpain tells 27 News.
UW-Madison officials say McEvoy was not hurt seriously.
Last summer, star Badger running back Montee Ball was attacked by four men as he walked home at bar time. Authorities say the men were seeking revenge for a previous, campus party fight involving Badger football players.
But DeSpain says the crimes against McEvoy are consistent with several other strong armed robberies in recent weeks downtown and in the campus area. DeSpain says the theft of smart phone devices appears to be the motive in all the crimes.
DeSpain says victims have typically been alone, and he warns smart phone owners to secure their phones, instead of walking and texting, and otherwise displaying the device.
"Don't advertise your assets," DeSpain says. "Don't leave your smart phone on the top of a bar."
Authorities say victims have varied, from a woman on the porch of an east side home, to the football playing McEvoy downtown, to even a ten year old boy walking in a west side, residential neighborhood.
DeSpain says New York's attorney general has called smart phone rip-offs the fastest growing street crime. Authorities says iPhones have been particularly attractive to thieves, with their theft being dubbed, "Apple picking."
DeSpain tells 27 News police officers have carried out stings and nabbed smart phone thieves, and have arrested other suspects, but are still brainstorming other enforcement tactics.
MADISON -- Tanner McEvoy, a member of the Wisconsin football team, was the victim of what Madison police are calling a "strong armed robbery" early Sunday morning in Madison. He suffered minor injuries and had his wallet, watch, and iPhone stolen. He resumed team activities on Monday.
Below is the incident report for the Madison Police Department. The police are investigating the incident and believe it was a random occurrence.
"First and foremost we are happy that Tanner is physically ok after this attack," UW football coach Gary Andersen said. "It's terrible to get a call about something like this but we are grateful the injuries were not serious."
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