Bayview residents express frustration with recent car thefts
In Bayview on Wednesday a group of about 100 residents discussed their frustration with recent vehicle thefts.
Milwaukee police officers in attendance at the meeting (hosted by Alderman Tony Zielinski at South Shore Park) said year-to-year the number of crimes in Bayview are either down or holding steady.
Those officers tried to field questions as the flow of crime-stories came from frustrated neighbors. Gary Marsack told the group about how in early August someone stole the SUV he was packing for a vacation.
Marsack said he was about ten yards away when it happened.
"I was about to walk up the back stairs and I heard a door slam, another door slam. Turned and there was this paint truck or van with ladders and my car speeding toward the lake - with some of the stuff coming out of the open end of the SUV," Marsack said.
Alderman Tony Zielinski told his constituents that establishing block watches is the most effective way to ward off situations like this.
He also noted that the city recently revised its pursuit policy to give officers more leeway in going after stolen vehicles.
"Cause when people are concerned about crime, they're frustrated: what will we do? And it's important for them to know what we can do on the local level and what they have to do with their legislators on the state level," Zielinski said.
Marsack says that his vehicle was eventually found by Milwaukee police officers. It was totalled after hitting three parked cars.
"Just to give you a sense of how emboldened these kids are, they had taken a picture of the inside of my car which they posted on social media. The police offered me an opportunity to view the picture to identify the inside of my car," Marsack said.
"The ashtray was full of cigarette and cigar butts...but that gives you some sense of the attitudes of these kids," Marsack said.