MPD: Spike in car thefts on Milwaukee's south side

MILWAUKEE -- Milwaukee police say they've seen a spike in car thefts in a couple of south side neighborhoods. One resident told FOX6 News it's been going on for months.

Gary Ramsey says thieves have been stealing cars, particularly between Lincoln and Cleveland, and between 5th and 13th streets. "It's like a clique. A clique of people that's running around here stealing cars," Ramsey said.

Ramsey said he first started hearing stories in the fall, but Milwaukee police say it's picked up over the last couple of weeks. Authorities say they've noticed the thieves have targeted Jeeps, minivans, Honda Civics, Accords and Toyota Camrys.

Ramsey said he's looking at strangers a little more closely. "I've got my cell phone in my pocket and I'll dial 911 if it just looks obvious, like this person is sneaky or too quiet," Ramsey said.

Police suggest having a steering wheel lock or an alarm system. If you don't have that, police say it's important to roll up your windows, never leave the car running with no one inside, and when you go inside, lock the doors. "Starting the car up in the morning, just to have somebody to watch the car, because in an instant your car can be stolen," Ramsey said.

Although he's more alert, Ramsey said the stolen cars won't change his attitude. "You want peace in society and the community, but sometimes, you just gotta look over your shoulder every now and then," Ramsey said.

Police are asking for tips from anyone who's been through those neighborhoods. If you have any information that could help police, you're asked to give them a call at (414) 933-4444.