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Madison police car squad tight crop

Robberies jumped 100 percent in Madison from last September to this September, but auto thefts and thefts from autos were down, according to data released by Police Chief Mike Koval.

Koval, in his daily blog, said 22 robberies were reported in Madison last month, compared to 11 in September of 2017.

The North and Midtown districts each had six robberies, with four in the East District, three in the South District, two in the Central District and one in the West District.

For the first nine months of 2018, 186 robberies were reported in Madison, an 11 percent increase over the five-year average of 168 robberies through September.

While the West District had the lowest number of robberies, it had the most thefts from autos by far in the six police districts.

There were 88 thefts from autos in September, down three percent from the 91 cases in September 2017.

The West District had 30 thefts from autos, compared to 18 in the Midtown District, 13 in the East District, 10 each in the North and Central districts and seven in the South District.

“Six incidents included some sort of force being used to enter the vehicle,” Koval said. “Thirty-four of the remaining incidents showed no force used, and 23 vehicles were left unlocked when entry was made.”

The 884 reports of thefts from autos through September is 12 percent lower than the average of 1,006 reports for the first nine months of the year in the previous four years.

The West District also had the highest number of auto thefts in September at 13, out of 39 stolen autos in the entire city. The East District had 10 stolen cars, the North and South districts five each, four in the Midtown District and two in the Central District.

The overall September total is 13.3 percent lower than the 45 car thefts in September 2017.

For the year, 295 car thefts have been reported in Madison, a 4.6 percent decrease from the same time frame in 2017, when 282 vehicles were stolen through September.

“Many vehicles were stolen from open garages at night,” Koval said. “Of the 39 stolen vehicles, 34 had keys in them and six were unlocked and running at the time of the theft.”

Koval said 32 of the 39 stolen vehicles have been recovered.

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Bill Novak is a general assignment reporter for the Wisconsin State Journal.

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