MPD: Uptick in auto thefts, thieves posting crimes on social media

Milwaukee police are warning people there is an uptick in auto theft in the last few months -- and the thieves are not staying quiet about their actions. 

"The vehicles that are being targeted are Hyundais, Kias, and Honda vehicles," said Milwaukee Police Captain David Salazar.

Officials say the suspects in a lot of the auto theft cases are teenagers. What might be shocking is that some of the kids are posting the crimes to social media.

"Typical juvenile behavior where they’re trying to one-up each other. There’s some peer pressure to commit these crimes," Salazar said.

Milwaukee Police Captain David Salazar

Videos on social media show reckless driving and stolen cars discussed opening on different social media platforms. It is a behavior Salazar said is concerning -- as kids are impressionable and respond quickly to their peers. 

"I think criminal behavior just mirrors regular life. And part of human communication now is your phone," Salazar said.

Capt. Salazar said many times offenders take the stolen vehicle and commit another crime. He had a message for those involved.

"How would that impact your family. And I’d like you to think about that before you decide to do something like take a motor vehicle," Salazar said.

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Milwaukee police have some tips on how to prevent your car from being stolen. One thing they say is to buy a steering wheel locking device like a Club. Another recommendation is to not leave your car unattended while trying to warm it up.

Officials remind everyone that stealing a vehicle is a felony. If you are a passenger of a stolen vehicle, that is considered a misdemeanor.

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