Milwaukee mom carjacked with baby inside criticizes juvenile justice system

"These kids are not being held accountable"
Posted at 8:50 AM, Jun 28, 2016
and last updated 2016-06-28 09:50:35-04

On a day that Milwaukee County judges were being questioned about the juvenile justice system, at least one mother is calling for immediate changes.

Elizabeth Gehrke was carjacked in May just blocks from her home, and the thieves took off with her baby still in the back seat. Surveillance video shows the 1-month-old being left on the side of the road.

"It was the worst day of my life," Gehrke said. "I'm so thankful my son was okay. But I still have nightmares and get afraid when I'm driving. I never got my purse and all my identification back. They have my address and personal information."

Two 17-years-old boys were arrested for the crime. Police say they have also been tied to three other carjackings, an armed robbery, and a triple shooting.  

"We can't keep going on like this. Until someone's going to stand up and lay down what we call laws, nothing's going to change,” Gehrke said.

"Our system is failing us. These kids are not being held accountable."

Milwaukee Chief Judge Maxine Aldridge White was forced to tackle tough questions about the juvenile justice system Monday at a public safety meeting with city alderman and Mayor Tom Barrett.

"Judge, you can't tell me that things are working, because they're not," said Alderman Mark Borkowski. "I will speak for those of us on the Common Council who are angry, who are tired of this community basically going to hell."

 Barrett points to the arrest of nearly 500 kids in the past year and a half for stealing cars.  A third of those kids who are under the age of 16, have been arrested at least twice. Carjackings by kids are up 179 percent in Milwaukee County.