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Posted at 7:11 AM, Mar 01, 2017
and last updated 2017-03-01 17:20:00-05
Authorities in Racine County are searching for the suspects who stole four vehicles from the Manheim Milwaukee auto auction lot at 561 27th St. in the Town of Raymond Wednesday.
The Racine County Sheriff's Office said dispatchers received a call about an alarm at the facility around 1:52 a.m.
The sheriff said they are looking for a white 2015 Ford Taurus and a silver 2014 Cadillac SRX.
Deputies who responded came across a car crash involving a Jaguar vehicle at West Frontage Road and Seven Mile Road, near the auto lot.
An African-American male wearing a gray sweatshirt and gray sweat pants was spotted walking away from the vehicle, the sheriff's office said.
Authorities searched the area for that person and, while doing so, came across a second accident at West Frontage Road and Eight Mile Road.
In that crash, a Cadillac SUV went off the roadway on a curve.
Both the Cadillac and the Jaguar were stolen from the Mannheim Milwaukee auto lot, the Racine County Sheriff's Office said.
Two other vehicles were taken also, the Sheriff said.
"At least four individuals scaled the fence over the barbed wire," said Racine County Sheriff Chris Schmaling.
"They drove over a couple of cement polls on the ground, which caused substantial damage to the vehicles they took, and then they went right through the gate where the security staff was," the Sheriff said. "A security officer had to move out the way to avoid being struck."
"We're incredibly lucky we didn't have any fatalities," Schmaling said.
Authorities extensively searched the area but found no suspects, the sheriff's office said.
A spokesperson for Manheim Milwaukee released the following statement:
"Early this morning, a vehicle theft occurred at Manheim Milwaukee. Fortunately, no one at our location was injured. Manheim takes property theft very seriously and is committed to protecting the company's property and the safety of our clients, team members and guests. We maintain a zero tolerance policy for criminal acts such as this and will prosecute any involved parties to the fullest extent of the law. We are working closely with the Racine County Sheriff's Office on their ongoing investigation and ask that you contact them for more information."
Schmaling said car thefts are a growing problem in Racine County, as well as Kenosha County and the Northern Suburbs of Chicago.
"The only common denominator appears to be that everyone seems to be heading North towards Milwaukee," he said. "This is a very scary trend and I'm seeing more of it."
Just nine days ago, thieves stole five vehicles from Illinois and drove them North, into Racine County, leading deputies on a high-speed chase in which speeds topped 100 miles per hour.
One vehicle crashed and injured a civilian, although not seriously.
"In my view, before this ends, someone's going to get seriously injured or killed," Schmaling said.
Schmaling said authorities always want to hear any and all information that can be pertinent to a crime.
He said anyone with information on this morning's vehicle thefts can call the sheriff's office at 262-886-2300.
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