Milwaukee vehicle thefts up 20%, certain makes targeted

Vehicle thefts are on the rise in Milwaukee, and it seems that thieves are targeting one type of vehicle in particular. 

Milwaukee police are seeing a common theme when responding to auto thefts -- first a smashed window, then a broken steering column. Then, the thieves drive your car away without any keys.

"It makes me angry," said Kelly Fure, an attempted theft victim. "There was pry marks where you stick your key."

Thieves tried to take Fure's seven-year-old Kia -- a vehicle make that, police say, is being targeted over others.

Milwaukee Police Department

According to Milwaukee Police Sgt. Efrain Cornejo, Kias, Hyundais and Hondas have been the top three vehicles for theft.

"Property is being damaged," said Cornejo. "It’s expensive. And during these hard times, I don’t think anyone needs an extra expense."

Damage associated with attempted vehicle theft

There has been a 20% rise in thefts, and with the weather getting colder police worry that the number of thefts will go higher as people leave keys in vehicles to warm them up.

"Some of these vehicles are being used in other types of crimes that can escalate to something more serious, so we really hope to be able to stop the increase and prevent this from happening," Cornejo said.

Damage associated with attempted vehicle theft

Fure will have to pay at least $600 to repair the damage to her vehicle.

"I’m beyond ticked off," said Fure. "People are struggling. Those who have to park on the street, we don’t buy expensive cars."

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Most thefts are happening between the hours of 10 p.m. and 11 p.m. Police recommend using a steering wheel locking device or installing a kill switch that would disable your car to keep your vehicle safe this holiday season.

There are different types of locks that you can use for steering wheels, like a club or cable. If you buy one new, costs can range from $30-50. Then again, it could potentially save you hundreds of dollars in damage caused by a would-be thief.


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Anyone with information is asked to call Milwaukee police at 414-935-7360 or, to provide an anonymous tip, call Milwaukee Crime Stoppers at 414-224-TIPS.