"Putting up 13-year-old kids to steal:" Police investigate break-ins at dealerships in Mount Pleasant

Police are investigating another round of break-ins at car dealerships in southeast Wisconsin. Two separate break-ins occurred early Thursday morning, July 7th in Mount Pleasant.

Mount Pleasant police say thieves hit the Palmen Dodge Chrysler Jeep dealership on Washington Avenue -- along with a Toyota dealership on Kilbourn Drive. The burglaries occurred between 1:44 a.m. and 3:10 a.m.

"They attempted to get a couple of vehicles off the showroom floor," said Captain Brian Smith, Mount Pleasant Police Department.

At Palmen Chrysler, the suspect(s) smashed the glass to the showroom -- and then attempted to steal a Jeep Cherokee by driving it into the glass showroom wall repeatedly.

The Jeep was abandoned, still running, jammed against the wall half way out of the building. The suspect(s) unsuccessfully attempted to steal another vehicle on the showroom floor.

A few miles down the road, another break-in occurred at Racine Toyota. Police say the suspects gained entry by smashing a glass door near the service department. The suspects then drove a car from inside the service department through the overhead garage door -- and then abandoned that car on the dealership lot.

At this time, it is unknown if any vehicles were taken from either dealership. Officers remain on scene at both dealerships and the investigation is ongoing.

"Somebody's putting up 13-year-old kids to steal cars and explaining and showing how to do it, it's really unfortunate," said Captain Smith.

This is the third break-in at a car dealership in Mount Pleasant in the last week. A 13-year-old boy was arrested early Monday, July 4th after allegedly burglarizing the Porcaro Ford dealership Mount Pleasant, stealing a car and then crashing that vehicle. Officials say they are searching for four other persons in connection with this case.

"Unfortunately it could be gang-related type of initiation where they're going and part of it is stealing cars. They could be selling them for, you know, we heard rumors of $1,000 and then they're being used in drug activity," said Smith.

Palmen Chrysler issued the following statement, saying in part, "Our customer's vehicles are safe and protected with our video security systems, state of the art burglar alarm system and onsite security officers."

Police say the suspect(s) may still be in the stolen Ford Escapes (one white, one Grey) from the Porcaro Ford July 4th burglary. They are hoping surveillance video from the break-ins will give them clear pictures of the people they're dealing with.

Monitor FOX6 News and FOX6Now.com for updates on this developing story.