MILWAUKEE - Fixing windows on dozens of vehicles after break-ins is becoming a typical Saturday for one Milwaukee glass repair shop.
Whether parked on the street or in a secure lot, your car could be a target. A number of city residents are dealing with car break-in damage.
"Not really surprised because it’s happening to everybody, but it’s like: Why, why are you doing this? You didn’t get anything," said Olumide Awosika.
When Awosika got into his new Jeep, parked near Water and State streets Friday night, he realized someone had broken in. He got not one, but three windows fixed at Safe Auto Glass.
"The minute COVID hit, the crime went up so bad," Tom Almaghrabi, the owner of Safe Auto Glass, said.
Car serviced at Safe Auto Glass in Milwaukee
Awosika is far from the only victim. Almaghrabi estimates his business was working on 28 vehicles with break-in damage on Saturday, Jan. 29.
"It’s good for business, but I feel bad for them," said Almaghrabi. "I always try to help them out, take care of client, we’ll vacuum glass for them, wash the car for them.
"What happened yesterday is on State (Street.) Today is Summit (Avenue) and Marshall (Street,) so basically it goes from one area to one area to one area."
Almaghrabi said break-ins have happened in secure lots, too.
"Yes, it has a gate, but there’s nobody there, security, to watch them – nobody there to see them. It takes one person to smash 20 cars, takes maybe 20 minutes," he said.
Fenced private parking lot in Milwaukee
Dealing with numbers like this is enough to make drivers reconsider where they park.
Emails to residents at one downtown Milwaukee apartment complex explained that three people got into a garage by squeezing through a small gap between the gate and building – breaking into several vehicles.
The best advice from Almaghrabi is to keep your car empty. If something like a break-in happens, report it to police.