UPDATE: Madison police believe string of muggings are connected - WKOW 27: Madison, WI Breaking News, Weather and Sports

UPDATE: Madison police believe string of muggings are connected

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MADISON (WKOW) -- Three people were mugged in less than two hours Monday evening near UW campus. Police believe the suspects targeted people who were walking alone, something that many students can't avoid.

"I walk everywhere I go," law graduate student Mike Solberg says. But an incident on the 400-block W. Dayton Street, a route he takes often, may impact his schedule. "I think I'd think twice about walking after dark," Solberg says.

Police say a 20-year-old woman was walking there when a dark car pulled in front of her Monday. It was about 9:40 p.m. "She says somebody gets out of the car, demands her phone, she turns the over," Madison Police Spokesman Joel DeSpain says. Two more muggings happened soon after. "We don't have any pattern in recent months to suggest that this is ongoing but certainly when we have three in one night it's troubling."

Police believe the suspects were driving through neighborhoods near campus, looking for people who were walking alone and easy targets.

A 21-year-old man was stopped by two suspects at 11:00 p.m. on the 1300-block of Milton Street. About 25 minutes later, another 21-year-old man was approached on South Randall Street.

"In the cases of the two male victims, both indicate they were placed in a choke hold and pulled to the ground," DeSpain says. "Physically, these three people were not injured but I would say emotionally there was a lot of harm inflicted as they were all three very traumatized over what took place." By the end of the night, DeSpain says the suspects made off with two cell phones and a laptop.

Police say the victims described a similar vehicle involved in all three incidents. They're asking anyone who saw a dark, four-door sedan with tinted windows from the 1990s driving around Monday evening to contact Madison Area Crime Stoppers on the web at TipSubmit.com or call 266-6014 or text "Dane" and your message to CRIMES at 274637.

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MADISON (WKOW) -- Madison police search for suspects in three strong-arm robberies Monday night.

The first incident happened around 9:40 p.m. in the 400 block of W. Dayton Street.  The victim, a 20-year-old female was walking and talking on her cell phone when a dark colored vehicle pulled up in front of her.

The suspect then got out and approached the victim, forcibly taking her cell phone.  He then got into the passenger side of the vehicle and left the scene. The victim was not injured.

The suspect is described as a black male, 28-30 years of age.  He is approximately 5'8" and 180 pounds, last seen wearing a dark coat. 

The second robbery happened at 11:00 p.m. in the 1300 block of Milton Street.  A 20-year-old male victim was walking when he noticed a dark colored vehicle slowly drive by and stop in front of him.

This time, two suspects got out of the vehicle.  One restrained the victim while the other forcibly took the victim's cell phone and another electronic item. The suspects were last seen getting back into the vehicle and fleeing the scene. No injuries were sustained.

One suspect was described as a black male with a heavy build.  He possibly had longer braided hair and he was wearing dark clothing.  The other suspect, also a black male, stands about 5'10" to 5;11" and was last seen in dark clothing.  

The vehicle description is a dark 4-door sedan.

The third and final incident happened in the 400 block of Randall Street shortly before 11:30 p.m.  Again, a 20-year-old male victim was when he observed a dark colored vehicle parked on the side of the road.

As the victim walked past, the suspects exited the vehicle and began to follow him.  Once the suspects caught up to the victim, one suspect restrained him and threw him to the ground while the other suspect took a laptop.

Both suspects then ran back to their vehicle and left the area.

No injuries were reported by the victim. 

The victim described the suspects as black males, one with long braided hair and dark clothing and the other wearing dark clothing.  He also stated the vehicle was a black sedan.

No weapons were seen or mentioned in any of these cases.

Danielle Lama will have more on these incidents on 27 News at 5 & 6.

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