Police: Thieves Arrested After Accidentally Calling 911

Two retail theft suspects were arrested after one of them pocket dialed 911 from the getaway car, allowing police to locate the suspects as they were attempting to sell the stolen merchandise, Madison police said.

Police said the suspects, Jason S. Hamielec, 29, and Brian A. Johnson, 28, both of Madison, stole DVDs and computer games from the Target store on Junction Road on Madison’s far West Side about 5:30 p.m. Tuesday.

While inside their getaway sport utility vehicle, the suspects talked about where they might get the best prices for stolen merchandise, and they decided on the Video X-Change at 3002 Atwood Ave., police said.

The suspects pulled into a parking lot near the Video X-Change and noticed a couple of Madison Police Department squad cars. They were then quickly surrounded by several Madison police officers, a couple with their guns drawn, according to a Madison Police Department news release.

Police said that as one suspect got out of the SUV, he asked an officer, “You guys tap my phone?”

Both men were dumbfounded by how police knew exactly where they would be, according to the news release.

Madison police said that as the two men got into the SUV following the retail theft, one of them pocket dialed 911, so as they chatted about all they had done, a dispatcher was listening in — via an open cellphone line — and providing officers with a play-by-play.

“They bragged about what they stole, described the vehicle they were in, and where they were going,” said one of the arresting officers, according to the news release.

Police said the suspects even talked about how police would be looking for a blue Dodge Durango without license plates, so they decided to put the plates back on.

As officers inventoried the stolen items and the suspects’ property, one looked at the cellphone, which was still on with the dispatcher still listening in. The officer ended the call, which had a duration of 54 minutes, police said.

Police said both men were cited on a charge of retail theft and released.