Ald. Bob Donovan
Press Release

Officer injured in yet another car theft incident

Milwaukee’s auto theft rate 12 times higher than that of New York City

By - Apr 10th, 2015 11:47 am

Early this morning on the city’s east side, a Milwaukee police officer was injured when he was struck during an attempted traffic stop of a stolen vehicle. The occupants of the stolen vehicle hit the officer while fleeing the traffic stop, and – fearing for his partner’s life – the other officer fired his service weapon at the fleeing vehicle.

The injured officer was taken to the hospital, and thank God his injuries are not life-threatening.

Milwaukee, with a population of 595,000, has an auto theft rate that is 12 TIMES HIGHER than the rate in New York City! (population 8.5 million). Last year, New York City tallied 7,664 stolen vehicle cases, and Milwaukee had 6,657.

That is almost incomprehensible to me!

Given the level of disorder across Milwaukee, I could hold a news conference twice daily, seven days a week – but I choose to restrain myself.

The level of crime and disorder in Milwaukee is shocking, really. And am I the only one in town who is concerned enough to speak out?

It sure looks that way to me.

Mayor Barrett: Do something, please.

Mentioned in This Press Release

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24 thoughts on “Officer injured in yet another car theft incident”

  1. Bill Sell says:

    Alderman Donovan does not mention it, but I understand that there is a rash of car thefts related to keys being in the ignition. Winter might contribute to this problem.

  2. Paul says:

    Let’s stop criminalizing the black youth and start teaching kids how to run a legitimate business.
    Could we please start using body cameras before a race riot breaks out?

  3. Observer says:

    Alderman Bob, Where do you stand on police bodycams and Milwaukee Bucks arena funding. Belling and company say Milwaukee taxpayers should kick in more lest we lose the team.

  4. Paul says:

    Bill, it’s still car theft, I can walk past a unattended running car and not take it, it’s time to chase, arrest and imprison these criminals. New York’s temperature is fairly close to ours, so your weather argument doesn’t hold up.

  5. PMD says:

    Paul what about the fact that in a period of 2 months 4 people were killed by drivers feeling police? Is a high-speed chase always warranted for car theft? It’s awfully easy for you to be an armchair quarterback here.

  6. Paul says:

    PMD, In less then that amount of time this year we have had at least five killed by people driving stolen cars not being chased. How many other crimes are being committed by these thugs knowing they won’t be chased. It’s time to catch them and lock them up.

  7. PMD says:

    If my car was stolen, I would be extremely upset, and I would want the car thief/thieves caught. But it’s just a car. I would not want the police to chase them at high speeds and risk injuring or killing themselves or innocent bystanders.

  8. Bill Sell says:

    Paul, I wasn’t arguing with anyone. Just noting that people who experience a car theft might be preventive, instead of feeling righteous and justified by someone else’s prison sentence. It’s a waste all the way around. And Mr. Donovan will need to grasp a variety of data if he wishes to lead us.

  9. Paul says:

    PMD, If my car was stolen, I wouldn’t want it spotted by the police eight times and nothing done and then have some punk joy riding run a stop sign at 80mph and kill innocent people.

  10. Virginia Carlson says:

    Is that rate per capita or per car, Bob? Because we’d of course expect the per capita rate to be higher since car ownership is so much lower in New York. Let’s be smart.

  11. Tom D says:

    While NYC’s car theft rate is low today, that wasn’t always the case. In 1990, 146,925 vehicle thefts were reported to the NYPD. By 2014, that number dropped 85% to 7,664.

    What happened to bring about such a sharp reduction? In the early 1990s, a stolen vehicle recovery system trademarked “Lojack” started being sold in NYC.

    Today when you buy a car in and around NYC, you can choose to pay $695 to install “Lojack” in your car. If you do and it is later stolen, the police remotely activate your “Lojack” device which sends a radio signal telling police where the car is. (Lojack donates the necessary detection equipment to the cops.)

    The device is hidden (there is no identifying decal, for example), and thieves have no idea if any given car has Lojack (or where within the car that device is hidden).

    Unfortunately, Lojack decides where it will market its devices, and Milwaukee isn’t one of those markets. (Chicago is.)

    High speed car chases aren’t what reduces auto theft rates; Lojack (or another similar product) is.

  12. Paul says:

    Tom D, any tool that well catch these criminals will work, right now because of the no chase policy we have nothing and the crooks know it

  13. PMD says:

    I wouldn’t want the police to do nothing if my car was stolen Paul. But I also don’t think the only two options are a high-speed chase and doing absolutely nothing.

  14. Observer says:

    “Calling all cars, calling all cars, Be on the lookout for a stolen lime green 4 door Yugo traveling southbound on S. 27th.” I don’t think we have “nothing” Paul.

  15. Paul says:

    Observer, and if PMDs stolen Yugo takes off over the speed limit we do nothing

  16. Observer says:

    I guess only if you are the cop in the squad car that sees it.

  17. Paul says:

    Observer, WHAT?

  18. PMD says:

    So Paul would you just like the policy to be officer’s discretion? Or mandatory chasing? What do you think makes the most sense here?

  19. AG says:

    PMD, I agree with you that a car is just a car and material objects are replaceable. My biggest concern though is that many of these stolen cars are then used for other crimes that are far more dangerous. Stolen cars are not just used for joy riding, they’re often stolen so they can be used as the get away vehicle for armed robbery’s and other violent crimes. Those are the crimes I worry about because they put innocent lives at risk every time.

  20. PMD says:

    That’s a fair point AG. I agree that that is a valid concern. Maybe a perfect policy just doesn’t exist here.

  21. Tony B. says:

    Sounds like someone is making a case for a trolley system 😉

  22. Paul says:

    PMD, it should be at the officers discretion

  23. Tim says:

    Paul, giving officer discretion on this issue in the past, how many civilian casualties did that cause? Was there any difference in crime?

  24. Paul says:

    Tim, there’s no way of telling how many casualties there would have been without the chases, we know of at least five in the last few weeks. Difference in crime, watch the news, crimes are up and the city is more dangerous despite what the Mayor says.

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