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Three teenage suspects believed to be involved in a rash of burglaries, car thefts and other crimes were arrested Friday after a purse-snatching and the crash of a stolen car, Madison police said.

Shortly before noon Friday, a woman had her purse taken while she was in the parking lot of Hy-Vee, 675 S. Whitney Way, with the robber jumping into a car that was driven from the scene, police spokesman Joel DeSpain said.

A witness provided the license plate number and a good description of the car, which had been reported stolen Thursday morning from a home on Nottingham Way. That case followed a familiar pattern -- a criminal getting into an unlocked car in the driveway, using a garage door opener to get into the garage, entering the house through an unlocked door from the garage, stealing a wallet and car keys, and then the car, DeSpain said.

Police spotted the car Friday afternoon on John Nolen Drive and East Washington Avenue and attempted to stop it, but did not chase it, DeSpain said.

The car was later found crashed at Atwood Avenue and Dunning Street. Witnesses said four teenage boys took off running from the wrecked car. Police caught three with the help of police dog Bowie, DeSpain said.

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One of the trio, a 15-year-old from Madison, is wanted by several jurisdictions, DeSpain said. Madison police have probable cause to arrest him for burglary while armed and for dropping a handgun outside of Leopold Elementary School on Oct. 22, DeSpain said.

Inside the crashed car police found another handgun, the Hy-Vee victim's purse, and other purses and credit cards, DeSpain said.


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