A South Side man had reason to be concerned when he looked out his window and saw a teen sitting behind the wheel of his car, then had greater concern when the boy pulled out a box cutter when confronted and threatened to stab the man.
The man backed off and the teen, along with three female teens with him, left the area, only to be arrested by Madison police while they were walking along railroad tracks.
The incident happened at about 6 p.m. Tuesday on East Lakeside Street.
"The homeowner ran outside, inquiring 'Can I help you guys?'," said police spokesman Joel DeSpain.
The teens started leaving but the man followed, asking if they had taken anything from his car.
"The three girls said nothing but the boy pulled out what appeared to be a box cutter, indicating he would stab the victim if he did not back off," DeSpain said.
The victim tried to reason with the teen, saying he had a kid and just wanted the group to give back anything they might have taken.
"Neighbors were witnessing the confrontation and police were called," DeSpain said.
The four teens were taken to the Juvenile Reception Center, with all four tentatively charged with being party to the crime of attempted theft from a vehicle.
The boy also was tentatively charged with disorderly conduct while armed.