15-year-old from Milwaukee questioned after latest break-in at Manheim Auto Auction

RACINE COUNTY -- A teenager is being questioned by investigators after a break-in an the Manheim Auto Auction in Racine County. As the investigation continues, the Racine County sheriff has a message for people in the community.

Racine County Sheriff Christopher Schmaling

"We need to put a stop this," Racine County Sheriff Christopher Schmaling said.

Sheriff Schmaling didn't mince words after yet another break-in at the Manheim Auto Auction in Caledonia. It happened early on Sunday morning, May 14th. Investigators say thieves in at least three vehicles took down a fence -- stealing an unknown number of vehicles from the lot.

Manheim Auto Auction

"We're looking at items left behind in the vehicle. We're looking at fingerprints, DNA," Sheriff Schmaling said.

This incident wasn't the first time vehicles have been stolen from this auto auction, and Sheriff Schamling said these crimes aren't just happening in SE Wisconsin.

"It's a disturbing trend. It's a dangerous trend. It's not inclusive to just here in Racine. We're seeing it in the Chicagoland area. The whole Midwest area has been experiencing this," Sheriff Schmaling said.

Schmaling said he doesn't know why so many of these crimes are happening, but he noted many of the thieves are young, and he wants parents to take responsibility.

"Parents need to get a hold their kids. They cannot be out running the streets after 10:00 at night. These are happening 2:00 or 3:00 in the morning," Sheriff Schmaling said.

Schmaling has encouraged anyone with information to come forward.

"There needs to be consequences and we need to send the right message," Schmaling said.

Schmaling said two vehicles have been recovered from Sunday's break-in. One was occupied by a 15-year-old in Milwaukee, who is being questioned and has been cooperative, Schmaling said.

Officials with the Milwaukee County Sheriff's Office said in a news release Tuesday a deputy detained the juvenile early Sunday morning.

Below is the release from the sheriff's office:

"On Sunday, May 14th, at about 3:00 a.m., Milwaukee County dispatch received a call about vehicles driving through a fence at a Caledonia auto auction business. Another call reported four vehicles, including a black SUV, speeding northbound on I-94.

A Milwaukee County sheriff’s deputy spotted a black SUV with extensive front-end and roof damage in the median distress lane. It was unoccupied, with the driver’s side door open. The deputy searched nearby areas off the freeway and attempted to stop a juvenile who was standing in a parking lot on Layton Avenue.  The youth ran toward the Layton Avenue off-ramp, and the deputy pursued and stopped him on the off-ramp.

The Milwaukee youth initially lied about his whereabouts prior to the stop, and for being out after curfew. MCSO contacted the Racine County Sheriff’s Office to report the black Mercedes SUV as a possible stolen vehicle from their jurisdiction.  Milwaukee County deputies conveyed the juvenile to the Racine County Sheriff’s sub-station for their investigation into the vehicle thefts."