Company increases security following dozens of car break-ins downtown

MILWAUKEE - Drivers can expect more security at downtown parking lots after vandals broke into about 40 cars this weekend near the Milwaukee Intermodal Station.

It's the second weekend in a row where car windows have been smashed in near the station. Over Thanksgiving weekend, police say more than a dozen cars were hit in that area.

Most of the cars from the most recent incident were parked in a private lot owned by Interstate Parking, located west of the station.

After learning about the break-ins, the company says they immediately added more patrols.

"I was very angry and upset and sad," said Eva Balfanz, who returned from a girls trip to Chicago to find that five of her windows had been bashed in.

She was one of many people discovering the damage on Sunday. While her car was only damaged, police say the suspects did steal items from other cars.

Surveillance video was turned over to police, who are in the process of reviewing the cameras. There are at least six surveillance cameras in the Interstate Parking lot.

The company contracts with a private security firm to patrol the parking lots and says after these incidents, mobile patrols will be increased at all of their lots. The company operates more than 30 parking locations in downtown Milwaukee.

The company says it's also upgrading camera systems and installing new systems where needed.

"This is our hometown so to have this happen in our backyard is extremely disturbing to us," said Executive Vice President of Operations Ethan Spiegelberg in a statement Monday. "We're going to do whatever it takes to get this stopped."

For people parking in the lot on Monday, there was still a lot of concern.

"Kind of makes me a little worried to park here for sure," said Mike Adams.

The Wisconsin Department of Transportation operates the Intermodal Station building. A spokesperson said Monday in a statement:

"WisDOT has been in communication with Colliers International who will be coordinating with Interstate Parking to add additional lot surveillance. In addition, signs will be installed notifying people that the lot is under video surveillance. Any affected individuals may contact Interstate Parking at 414-431-6555 for reimbursement for their parking."

Interstate Parking includes fine print on parking ticket vouchers that says the company is not responsible for loss or damage to vehicles or contents.

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