MILWAUKEE — The Milwaukee Police Department is warning of a "crime trend" of armed robberies and car break-ins occurring in the city's downtown entertainment areas.
In a safety bulletin issued Friday, police say the crimes are happening between the hours of 4 p.m. and 7 p.m. and 11 p.m. and 2 a.m.
Police say individuals are driving stolen Kia and Hyundai cars and targeting people for their personal belongings, such as their cell phones and purses. The suspects do so while getting in and out of their cars or while sitting stationary in their vehicles.
Police recommend the following to reduce the likelihood of victimization:
- Park in well-lit areas and where cameras may be present
- Ensure distractions are minimal (Example: Sitting in a car and talking on the phone)
- Ensure no valuables are visible and accessible within your car (Example: cache bags, coins, electronics, firearms)
- If firearms are in your car, be sure they are properly secured in a lock box.
- "See something, say something." Contact the non-emergency number at 414-933-4444.
Earlier this month, we reported overall serious crime in Milwaukee was down by a combined 15% in 2022 when compared to 2021 numbers, according to city officials. However, homicides in Milwaukee climbed 11%.
The City of Milwaukee broke its homicide record for the third year in a row in November 2022. According to the Milwaukee Police Department's (MPD) database, there were 214 homicides in 2022 compared to a total of 193 in 2021. In 2020 there were 190, and in 2019, there were 97.
Another area of crime that saw an increase in 2022 was carjackings in Milwaukee. MPD numbers show there were 372 carjackings in 2021, which rose by 7% in 2022 with 397 carjackings. Arson also saw a 4% increase with 246 incidents in 2021 and 255 in 2022.
The city saw a 23% decrease in motor vehicle thefts. MPD's database shows there were 10,486 car thefts in 2021 compared to 8,090 in 2022. Robbery was also an area of crime that decreased. When compared to 2021 numbers, robbery went down 14% in Milwaukee in 2022. Non-fatal shootings remained about the same with 873 in 2021 and 877 in 2022.