MADISON (WKOW) — Police think two carjackings this week may be connected.
The first happened Wednesday at La Pettite Academy on Schroeder Road in Madison. Two men stole a car from a man who had his 3-year-old daughter with him.
Police say a masked man pointed a gun at the 34-year-old man’s head, before ordering him out of the car. However, they allowed him to remove the young child from the car before taking off in it.
The second happened Thursday at Great Beginnings Arbor Hills Daycare Center on Todd Drive, also in Madison.
This time police say a mother was picking up her child from daycare. Her 15 and 9-year-old sons and 8-year-old daughter were all in the car when a masked man opened the door, pointed a gun at the 15-year-old’s head, while telling him to get the other kids out of the car.
“This is a high priority for us. And we’re hopeful again that will be able to get these two individuals off the street soon,” said Madison Police PIO Joel DeSpain.
DeSpain says parents should be on high alert when dropping off and pickup their kids from daycare.
“We have the two carjackings this week that our violent crime unit detectives believe are connected. That we have the same two people that were lurking in the lots of day care centers and carjacked two cars,” he said.
“Parents who were picking up their children from day care centers who are being victimized. In the case yesterday, this 15-year-old who had a gun pointed at him, really is having a very, very hard time emotionally dealing with what just took place,” DeSpain said.
Police say this type of crime is unusual in Madison and hopes it’s not part of a larger trend.
“Or something that’s going to live on into the future. Certainly we’ve had these cases that I think the public’s very aware of, we have teenagers stealing cars from driveways, from garages,” DeSpain said.
Police recommend before getting into your car, be sure to check your surroundings for anything or anyone who may look suspicious. Once inside, check your surroundings again and always lock your doors.
“The victims in both of these cases have done the exact right thing. They’ve complied with the robbers. They haven’t tried to fight back. They’ve kept themselves safe,” DeSpain said.
In both cases, the cars were found near Tree Lane apartments on Madison’s west side, which is on the city’s radar because of a recent rash of crimes. Police don’t know whether someone who lives there is involved in the stolen vehicles.
Detectives say they have good leads and hope to make arrests soon.