Stop the stollies forum: City leaders brainstorm ways to put a stop to 'out of control' vehicle thefts in Milwaukee

MILWAUKEE -- As the number of vehicles stolen across Milwaukee increases, so does the need for change. Thieves are not only stealing vehicles -- they're also taking victims' peace of mind. A group of leaders on Monday April 30 came together to say enough is enough.

"Milwaukee has never been out of control the way it is now," an audience member said during the panel discussion.

"We're in the emergency room. We're bleeding from all different places," said State Senator Lena Taylor, D-Milwaukee during the panel discussion.

Senator Taylor and Rep. Leon Young, D-Milwaukee spoke as part of the panel discussion.

Panel discussion on stolen vehicles in Milwaukee

"No matter how good everybody say we're doing, it ain't working," said Torre Johnson Sr. with the Xmen United organization.

Earnell Lucas, candidate for Milwaukee County sheriff, said change lies with automakers.

"If they can produce cars that can drive themselves, if they produce cars that can park themselves, they can certainly do something about cars that are attended by the person other than the intended (driver)," said Lucas.

"Car thefts and violence didn't just start. They didn't just start yesterday. It's been going on for years," Johnson Sr. said.

Rep. Young said 60 percent of car thefts take place on the north side, 35 percent on the south side and five percent on the east side. The median age of the thieves is 18.

"I'm really concerned about younger people, why they're doing it and what we can do to engage them and let them know that they're part of our community and they don't need to do this kind of stuff," said Rep. Young.

Panel discussion on stolen vehicles in Milwaukee

This was the first time FOX6 News heard from Senator Taylor since her citation for an outburst at Wells Fargo in downtown Milwaukee. When asked about it, she said she was there to talk about stolen vehicles. Her attorney told us she's pleading not guilty.