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Teen snatches woman’s purse at mall, later steals and crashes car while owner picks up food, Madison police say

Teen snatches woman’s purse at mall, later steals and crashes car while owner picks up food, Madison police say

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A teen stole a woman’s purse at West Towne Mall, and later with a second teen stole and crashed a car while the owner picked up food on Saturday, Madison police reported.

It’s easy to prevent being a victim of car-related thefts. Here are some steps to help prevent your contents from being stolen from your vehicle.

At about 4:30 p.m. on Saturday, a 40-year-old woman was eating in the West Towne Mall food court when a 16-year-old boy grabbed her purse off the table and fled into a waiting stolen blue Mitsubishi Outlander, police spokesman Tyler Grigg said in a report.

Shortly after 5:15 p.m., a silver 2011 Nissan Rogue was taken while it was left unlocked and running in front of a restaurant in the 1100 block of Williamson Street, Grigg said in a separate report.

The Rogue owner, who was picking up a food order, called 911 and an officer quickly spotted the car heading onto John Nolen Drive with another recently stolen car. The Rogue hit two other vehicles before it finally crashed into a snowbank at North Shore Drive, Grigg said.

The occupants fled the crash scene on foot and eventually were caught. One was the 16-year-old who had stolen the woman’s purse at West Towne, and the other was a 14-year-old boy. The 16-year-old was wearing a court-ordered GPS monitoring device, Grigg said.

The boys were taken to the Dane County juvenile jail and tentatively charged with operating a motor vehicle without owner consent and resisting/obstructing, while the 16-year-old also was tentatively charged with theft, Grigg said.

They also are suspects in another recent stolen auto case, Grigg said.

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