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A 15-year-old Madison boy was arrested Monday for allegedly stealing a car, the fifth time in the past year the boy has been arrested for that crime.

The unidentified boy was arrested by officers of the Madison Police gangs unit and the West District community police team. The arrest took place in the 6700 block of Schroeder Road, where he was discovered with a Honda Accord, stolen from Middleton.

The boy is a gang member, and others in the gang have also been arrested multiple times for auto theft, said police spokesman Joel DeSpain.

In addition to the Accord theft, the boy allegedly was in a group of teens who stole a car from the Memorial High School parking lot in October, with the teens crashing the car.

A few days later, he was arrested for being in a group of teens stealing purses out of vehicles when the drivers were at gas stations filling up. The group of thieves were riding around in a stolen pickup truck.

On May 6 this year, he was arrested for his part in the theft of an unlocked Hyundai Sonata from a Berkshire Road residence.

On June 25, he was arrested for his part in the theft of a Honda Pilot from a parking lot, the owner of the car leaving the car running and unlocked as he went into a sandwich shop to get food.

Auto thefts are down slightly in Madison this year, according to statistics released by Police Chief Mike Koval, but the main reason cars are still stolen is people leaving keys inside unlocked vehicles.

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