Gift cards for auto theft victims; MPD reveals new partnership

Safe Auto Group has teamed up with the Milwaukee Police Department to provide $50 gift cards to all Milwaukee police stations for victims of auto theft.

A $5,000 check from Safe Auto Group was presented on Monday, June 27 to Milwaukee Police Chief Jeffrey Norman.

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Officers at all seven police districts will have the gift cards to distribute at their discretion. The $50 will help cover a portion of services to fix your car, but you can only use it at one particular shop.

Drivers in Milwaukee are all too familiar with piles of broken glass.

"You automatically know that someone was smashing a window and breaking into a car," said Beth Billo. "It’s sad. It is reality right now."

Milwaukee police data show more than 4,200 cars have been stolen so far in 2022. On Monday afternoon, a new program was announced to help future victims.

"We will receive $50 gift cards in the aggregate amount of $5,000 where officers are able to hand out these gift cards to victims of auto thefts," said Norman.

The gift cards can only be used for services at Safe Auto Group. The owner said it costs between $200 and $500 to replace one broken window, and sometimes, stolen cars come back looking rough.

"For every $50 gift card you donated, if you get a new customer, and even if they only have one smashed window, that’s $150 towards the business," said Tom Almaghrabi, the owner of Safe Auto Glass. "It’s a donation. Before we even did the $50, we are always helping the people. It’s not a business opportunity. We’ve been in the city of Milwaukee for 33 years. We want to give something back to the city."

"It’s about time that the victims get rewarded for some of these crazy doings that other people are creating," said Billo.

Chief Norman said he hopes this inspires other businesses to partner with them.