The Milwaukee Police say there have been a staggering number of stolen vehicles in the city over the last week.
They have reports of 118 stolen cars in the last seven days.
They can’t say how many of these vehicles were running when they were stolen, but with temperatures as cold as they’ve been, it’s not surprising.
“It is crazy,” said Alderman Bob Donovan. “It’s out of control as far as I’m concerned.”
Donovan’s district had the highest number of reported stolen cars with 44. He says when he was young, this wasn’t an issue.
“People warmed up their cars and didn’t have to worry about this garbage,” Donovan said. “It’s a sad reality of life in 2017 Milwaukee. I’m urging citizens to take care, watch yourself, watch your actions, watch who is around you and don’t leave your vehicle unattended. Believe me, I understand. You want to get into a warm vehicle. Having said that, I’m asking citizens to do the right thing. Be in their vehicle when they’re warming it up. You simply can’t take the chances anymore these days.”
There is an ordinance in the city for people who leave their cars unattended with them running. It’s to try and prevent people from starting their cars to warm them up in the winter and allowing for the possibility of thieves to steal them.
But for one south side family, their car was gone in 60 seconds.
“We didn’t even war the cars up,” said David Spiekerman. “They were sitting there less than a minute and this happened.”
Spiekerman’s daughter’s car was stolen early Thursday morning. His mother was going to move one car so he could back his out for the morning. She went outside and started the car and ran back inside quickly to let him know she was ready. When they came back outside, her car was gone.
“I feel bad for my daughter,” Spiekerman said. “She just got the car. She works two jobs. Just got done with college. It makes you mad and frustrated. You don’t know what to do.”
“I work two jobs, go to school and that happens,” said Sierra Spiekerman. “It’s one step forward and two steps back.”
Spiekerman says there were footprints in the snow coming from next door. He thinks the person was waiting for an opportunity.
“To come up at 6:45 a.m. and see your car gone and not expect that,” Spiekerman said. “It’s a good shock in the morning.”
The police department tweeted out the statistics from the last week to warn residents of the threat.
They had a message to residents as well to remember this winter season: “A cold car is better than no car!”