Masked men invaded a house, pointed guns at residents and stole a car on the morning of Wednesday, Sept. 22, Milton police said in a news release.
No one was injured, but police are concerned that Milton might be a target. Officials urge residents to lock their cars and homes.
A Honda Civic occupied by three men hit a curb and became disabled on Arthur Drive on the city’s south side at around 8:28 a.m., police believe.
The men ran a short distance through backyards to a house on Sue Lane, police said.
The men then “walked through an open garage door and went into the house through an unlocked door” and pointed handguns at the homeowners, the release continues.
The men demanded keys to a vehicle and fled in a white BMW SUV.
Milton Police Chief Scott Marquardt said the men didn’t hurt anyone physically. He said he did not know how many people were at the home at the time.
“The three male suspects were wearing jeans and zip-up hoodies, had their faces covered and were wearing blue latex gloves,” according to the release. “The witness stated they were likely in their 20s and appeared to be Hispanic or light-skinned Black in color.”
The people in the home and witnesses to the car crash described the men as wearing scarves over their faces, Marquardt said.
Milton police arrived at the scene probably moments after the SUV was driven away, Marquardt said. By the time the officers understood what happened, the vehicle had disappeared in an unknown direction.
However, the SUV was soon spotted heading north on Interstate 90/39 near Newville. Several law enforcement agencies chased it on the Interstate. At various locations in Madison, police attempted to stop the vehicle without success.
Marquardt said the pursuit was ended because of the potential danger to the public.
The SUV was found abandoned in the town of Madison around 9:30 a.m.
The Honda that the suspects abandoned in Milton had been reported stolen from Madison in August.
“We currently believe that the suspects were in the area looking to commit other crimes of opportunity when the vehicle they had been driving hit a curb and became disabled,” the release states.
Marquardt said the incident could be connected to a series of recent car thefts and home burglaries in Dane County. Those crimes typically involved the entering of unlocked cars or homes and were not robberies at gunpoint, Marquardt said.
Marquardt said he suspects the incident is connected to the theft of a vehicle in the same area of Milton last week.
“If that is the case, and they think we’re easy, let’s not make it easy for them,” Marquardt said.
He advised residents not to leave their keys or garage door openers in unlocked cars. The doors to homes should be locked at all times, he said.