Roommates catch one burglar, two others escape - WQOW TV: Eau Claire, WI NEWS18 News, Weather, and Sports

UW Roommates catch one burglar, two others escape

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MADISON (WKOW) -- Madison police say a group of roommates were at a neighboring home watching the Badger game around 12:20 a.m. Sunday, when one looked out a window and realized someone was inside their Lathrop Street house.

Police say there were three burglars and one jumped off a second story balcony, while another fled out a door. The theft victims tackled the third and held him until police arrived.

"He knew he wasn't going anywhere, there were enough guys," game-watching host Joe Nelson says.

Police say the 15-year-old suspect had a stolen laptop tucked in his trousers and a backpack filled with the victims' electronics.

When officers arrived, they found three of the roommates sitting on the suspect. The teen told officers he didn't really know the other two suspects, claiming that they had just met in recent weeks.

The other two suspects are men. One is described as white, 16-19 years old, with short, possibly blonde hair, 5'9" to 5'10", 140 lbs., wearing a red top and shorts. The other is described as a black man in his late teens, 5'10" to 5'11", 140 pounds, wearing a red hooded sweatshirt and black pants.

It is not yet known if this burglary is related to other recent burglaries and home invasions near campus. 

Madison Police spokesperson Joel DeSpain says victims are always cautioned to be careful confronting suspects. "People have to make their own decision, too, and in this case, these young men thought they could take this guy on."

DeSpain says no weapons were involved in the burglary attempt, something Nelson thought about only after confrontation with the suspect. "I realized, wow, there might have been a gun in there, a knife. Probably a bad choice to go in there, but it was heat of the moment and we got lucky, I guess," Nelson tells 27 News.

DeSpain says the burglary suspected entered through an unlocked door. Madison police officials are using an electronic sign in this campus area to remind residents to lock doors to prevent thefts.

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