NewsLocal News


Milwaukee man, immigrant on the hook for rental car stolen from him in Riverwest

Milwaukee man on the hook for stolen rental car
Posted at 10:36 PM, Jan 17, 2018
and last updated 2018-01-18 10:07:15-05

Hedi Abba is worried. He hasn’t had more than four hours sleep at anytime this week. He’s on the hook for a rental car stolen from him at gunpoint when he stopped for coffee in Riverwest Monday morning.

A group of teens swiped the vehicle. Still, when talking about the incident, he repeatedly expressed concern for the teens that put the shotgun in his face.

“I feel sorry for the kids that did it,” he said, his eyes filled with tears. “It’s all about education. That’s me. We need a lot of education. A lot of programs for these kids to straighten them up and have them ready for the workforce.”

Abba is an immigrant from Tunisia. He moved to the United States 20 years ago and earned his U.S. citizenship. He believes in the American dream and wonders aloud why children born and raised here don’t share that passion to work.

“I've been here 20 years, always work,” he said passionately, seemingly directing his comments at the teens who stole his rental car. “Always work. Now there’s jobs everywhere, everywhere. You can get a job. You can make a decent living and you can look at your future like everybody does. You can do it! You can succeed!”

That attitude could easily have ended when both the rental car company and Abba’s insurance agent told him he isn’t covered for the stolen car. He’s been on a one man hunt for the stolen wheels since Monday.

“I have to help the police,” he said sincerely.

This talented carpenter who believes in the salvation of hard work says he can’t let this misfortune finish him.

“I’m going to keep going with my life,” he said, his lower lip trembling. “I cannot stop. I have a lot of bills and obligations and people behind me that I need to support.”

The stolen 2017 Toyota Corolla is black with Wisconsin plates 363-ZVP.