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Milwaukee outpacing Chicago for car thefts so far in 2021

Posted at 10:38 AM, Dec 07, 2021
and last updated 2021-12-07 11:38:55-05

MILWAUKEE — Milwaukee, with a population about four times smaller than Chicago, is currently outpacing the Windy City for total number of car thefts in 2021.

There have been more than 9,700 car thefts in Milwaukee in 2021, which averages out to nearly 30 every single day. That's about 300 more than Chicago's total for 2021.

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Milwaukee has already shattered its own record for car thefts in 2021, and is on pace to double last year's total.

Kias and Hyundais remain by far the most-targeted vehicles, accounting for 71 percent of all car thefts so far this year, according to Milwaukee police.

On Monday, police sat before the Common Council's Judiciary Committee for a discussion on what's being done to slow these thefts. Some on the council are curious about ways to encourage manufacturers to produce cars that are more resistant to theft.

The City Attorney's office says it is not currently involved in any lawsuits against Hyundai or Kia, but is looking at legal options. The deputy city attorney says the most promising way to collect on behalf of the city would be a defense that paints the problem as a public nuisance.

Milwaukee police say they have been in contact with both Kia and Hyundai about the issues.

"They ultimately had agreed to provide us effectively unlimited auto locks," said Nick Desiato, who spoke on behalf of the department.

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