Wauwatosa police release video of dangerous stolen Hyundai chase
WAUWATOSA, Wis. (CBS 58) -- "It's no secret that in southeastern Wisconsin, we're dealing with a rash of stolen vehicles, reckless driving and other associated crimes," said Wauwatosa Police Department Sgt. Abby Pavlik.
The ongoing issue of stolen Hyundai and Kia vehicles being involved in extreme and potentially deadly chases continues to belabor police.
Near 100th and Hampton was a scene of absolute chaos on June 26, as two teen girls and a male bailed from one vehicle and ran for another after leading police on an over 90 mile per hour chase.
What started as a police officer spotting what he suspected was a stolen Hyundai, turned into a multi-car chase with another stolen Hyundai.
Eventually, people from the first car bailed. Two teenage girls, one 14 years old, were taken into custody, and another young male got away in the other vehicle.
"It's a danger not only to the people driving those cars, but a danger to the public, it's a danger to our officers. It's a trend that we need to see decrease," said Sgt. Pavlik.
She said what’s especially terrifying for officers, the public, and the people involved is sometimes the driver isn't even old enough to have a learners permit.
"The less experienced you are as a driver, the less knowledge you have of the vehicle you're driving, your reaction times are so much slower and crashes can happen instantly," said Sgt. Pavlik.
Sgt. Pavlik said with any chase they need to assess the danger.
"We have to weigh the desirability of the pursuit. Why are we pursuing them?" asked Sgt. Pavlik.
She said the officers made the call to stop pursuing the second vehicle after the driver went down roads the wrong way and sped through residential areas.
"The danger to the public became so great that it was not worth the pursuit anymore," said Sgt. Pavlik.
She said that's why they're working on providing education about how dangerous cars can be in schools, and working with city engineers to make safer streets. But they're also asking for the public's help.
"Anything we can do to deter the thefts of those stolen vehicles helps deter the reckless driving that can follow," said Sgt. Pavlik.
If you live in Wauwatosa and have a Kia or Hyundai, police say you can get a free steering wheel lock from them--which could deter thieves.