Why are so many teens choosing to steal vehicles? Milwaukee Youth Council discusses issue

MILWAUKEE -- There have been seven fatal crashes involving stolen vehicles in Milwaukee since November, and the number of vehicles stolen in Milwaukee so far this year is nearly double what it was at this time last year. On Wednesday, January 27th, the Milwaukee Youth Council gathered to discuss Milwaukee's car theft epidemic.

The Youth Council is made up of teens who represent young people in their respective districts in Milwaukee.

Kalan Haywood, who represents the 6th District, says teenagers promoting carjackings on social media is becoming the norm.

It stems from a misinterpretation of MPD's pursuit policy.

"So you steal a car. You think they won't chase you -- but when they do, you think 'OK -- I'm going to keep going. I can outrun them. They're going to stop chasing me, and they don't. You get into a car accident. You kill your friend and then you go to jail -- or you kill one of your friends but you survive, and then you still go to jail. It's going to cause a lot of negative side effects in your life," Haywood said.

Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett said over the past 12 months in Milwaukee, 14 people have died in crashes involving stolen vehicles.

The latest fatal crash involving a stolen vehicle happened on January 23rd near N. Port Washington Road and Capitol Drive. 16-year-old DeAnthony Parks lost his life when a stolen vehicle he was riding in crashed into another vehicle and then flipped and went airborne, slamming into a home. Police said on January 27th a 15-year-old passenger had been arrested. Police continue to seek the others who were in that stolen vehicle at the time of the crash, including the driver.