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Off-duty Milwaukee detective helps solve east side attempted armed robbery

MILWAUKEE (CBS 58) – An off-duty Milwaukee detective in the right place at the right time helps prevent a potential crime and helped solve an attempted armed robbery, Milwaukee Police say.

The department says the detective was in the area of the 2700 block of N. Murray Avenue around 9:15 Sunday night when he saw a man looking into vehicles. Squads responded to the area and police say the man had a mask on his face and a silver flashlight on him. The 19-year-old was arrested for prowling.

"I said, 'What are you doing? You're looking in people's windows, you're looking across, over the fence, you're looking in a car, car drives off. What are you doing?,'" said Milwaukee Police Detective David Anderson.

The off-duty detective said he watched the young man do a number of suspicious things while walking his dogs near the 2700 block of N. Murray Ave.

Detective Anderson first noticed the man wearing a bandanna over his face between bushes and a garbage can. Then he followed a woman walking from her car to her apartment building, and then peering over a neighbor's fence "as if he was canvassing the area," and then the man pulled on the car door of a delivery driver.

"He's knocking on the drivers side window and pulling on the door and I thought, 'he's thinking about taking that car,'" said Detective Anderson.

The detective says he is always observant. After witnessing the suspicious activity, he confronted the suspect.

"So I tell him, 'Hang on a second.' He goes, 'Well, who are you?' That's when I said, 'I'm a cop with the Milwaukee Police Department. You need to stay here,'" said Detective Anderson.

When officers arrived on scene, they searched 19-year-old Nathaniel Jaeger. He had a knife and a large flashlight on him.

Detective Anderson credits the arriving officers to connecting the two incidents.

"The officers immediately turned and said, 'We had a robbery about a week ago where some guy with a flashlight was attempting to rob a female and he got scared off,'" said Detective Anderson.

When the suspect was brought in, detectives learned the suspect matched the description of a person wanted in connection with an attempted armed robbery on February 28 in the 2700 block of N. Fredrick Avenue.

In that case, police say a male suspect came up to a 25-year-old woman and demanded her purse. The suspect did not get anything and fled the scene. When questioned about the offense, police say the suspect confessed to the crime.

Jaeger was charged with armed robbery. He told officers he is a pre-law student at UWM and that was drunk when he committed the attempted armed robbery, and he planned to use the money on alcohol and food. Jaeger was released on bail with a condition of absolute sobriety.


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