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Increased security proposed for downtown parking lots

MILWAUKEE, Wis. (CBS 58) – A Milwaukee alderman is looking to add to a parking ordinance which he believes could give people peace of mind. This comes after a string of break-ins in the downtown area.

Those smash and grabs took place not once but two weekends in a row, against dozens of cars parked near Milwaukee’s intermodal station late last year.

“I would not park here over night, given the current security levels and I would be nervous about daytime parking,” says Alderman Bob Bauman.

That’s why Bauman is introducing legislation hoping to make privately owned parking lots downtown and in the Third Ward safer.

“Requiring attendants, improving lighting,” says Bauman. “To have real time monitoring of the video equipment, and to put gates.”

“It’s nice to know that they may be doing something about the security here,” says Chuck Henderson who frequently parks in a private lot.

While Henderson was not a victim of the most recent rash of break-in’s he has been targeted by vandals.

“Someone took one of my license plates off and that disappeared and I had to replace it,” says Henderson.

Others don’t feel the changes will make a difference.

“I’ve been parking here for 20 years and I’ve been broken into everywhere,” says Helen Demire who now parks on side streets.

Helen says she has even started leaving her doors unlocked.

“I just don’t want to buy a new window,” says Demire. “They might as well come in and look around for what they want.”

Bauman says the private lots are pushing back threatening to the changes will dramatically increase their rates.

“And then the question is, is the consumer willing to pay the cost for that sense of security,” says Bauman.

CBS 58 reached out to some of the privately owned parking lots but we have not heard back yet.

Milwaukee police say they are still looking for those vandals from last year’s smash and grabs.

There will be a public hearing on Wednesday at 9AM during the Public Works Committee on the security upgrades.

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