"It is very much worth the risk:" Carjacking victim says police should change pursuit policy

MILWAUKEE (WITI) -- If Milwaukee police officers pull a driver over, and that driver takes off -- and police have no reason to suspect the vehicle was involved in a violent crime, officers don't engage that driver in a high-speed pursuit. It's a rule two carjacking victims say needs to be changed -- saying it's making it easier for thieves to get away with stealing cars.

Two men, carjacked in June say the crime left them with more than $10,000 in damage to the vehicle.

"The car was a total wreck. Every side. Front, back sides," one of the victims said.

These victims asked that FOX6 News protect their identities. They provided pictures to FOX6 News that show the damage left after their vehicle was stolen from them at gunpoint.

These men say two days after the carjacking, their vehicle was spotted by police. The individual who was driving the car took off -- and police didn't follow the vehicle.

A week later, the car was discovered -- wrecked.

Milwaukee police say the decision not to follow the vehicle is police policy.

"It's pretty straightforward now.  If we pull somebody over, and they drive away quickly, and we have no reason of a violent crime, we don't pursue," says Milwaukee Police Chief Ed Flynn.

"If everyone knows you're not going to chase them, they are going to keep doing what they are doing," one of the carjacking victims said.

These victims say MPD's rule angers them, as they've watched news of teenage "robbery gangs" terrorizing the city in recent weeks.

"This whole thing is nothing but a game to these teenagers," one of the carjacking victims said.

"We have to always put human life first," Flynn said Thursday.

MPD changed its policy to in 2010, after four people were killed by separate drivers fleeing police.

"No innocent people have been killed since that policy has been enacted," Flynn says.

It's a balancing act of risk vs. arrest.

"I think it is very much worth the risk," one of the carjacking victims said.

These carjacking victims say the risk to human life is just as great when police don't catch them when they have the chance.

"I'm the last person wanting someone harmed, but let's stop these people and let them know they have to pay for their crime," one of the carjacking victims said.

As FOX6 News has reported, teens accused in one of these "robbery gangs" were arrested after a high-speed chase. Current police policy is that they only chase drivers if they know the vehicle was involved in a violent crime.

The carjacking victims police spoke with say they, too were involved in a violent crime, and were hoping for the same treatment.