MPD: Stolen cars trend downward, attempted car thefts increase

MPD: Stolen cars trend downward, attempted car thefts increase


MILWAUKEE (CBS 58) -- New data from the Milwaukee Police Department (MPD) shows an increase in attempted car thefts. 

MPD data from Jan. 1 to March 8 of this year shows of the 37 Kia and Hyundai cars stolen from Downtown Milwaukee, 31% were attempted.

That's about a 10% increase from the same time period last year.

"We've also seen a decrease of actual vehicles being stolen in general, but we've noticed that we have seen an increase of vehicles that have been attempted to be stolen," Milwaukee Police Sgt. Efrain Cornejo said.

Cornejo said he can't credit the increase in unsuccessful car thefts to one deterrent in particular but said the recent anti-theft software update for Kia and Hyundai cars could have something to do with it.

Kia and Hyundai are updating cars without immobilizers for free. 

The National Highway and Safety Administration said Hyundai is also giving customers a window sticker to alert potential thieves to the update. 

Cornejo said the department is also aware of a group of people who travel downtown just to see what they can take from inside parked cars.

"They go out there to target vehicles and break into them and steal valuables," Cornejo said.

Among those stolen valuables are guns.

MPD data shows 13 guns were reported stolen from cars parked downtown between Jan. 1 and March 8. 

"It's easy to just leave it in your car, however, it's also easy for it to be stolen when it's unattended and not stored properly," Cornejo said.

Cornejo said drivers are encouraged to secure all valuables in a safe place, like the trunk, or leave them at home. 

Gun thefts from cars are about 41% lower than the same time period in 2022.

"It is refreshing seeing that number go down, but we're not where we want to be yet," Cornejo said.

MPD encourages people to report these crimes when they happen.

"If you see something, say something, and there's ways to report it directly to us and ways to report it anonymously," Cornejo said.

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