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Unlocked Cars Again Targeted in 'Wave' of Thefts

Residents are targeted when they leave their cars unlocked. Electronics and change are the most common items taken.

Updated 8:09 p.m. Tuesday with two additional thefts

Whitefish Bay has experienced more than a dozen thefts from unlocked cars in recent days, and police have a simple solution: Lock your car doors.

“It comes in waves,” said Sgt. Dale Daczyk of the Whitefish Bay Police Department, on Monday. The village is right now seeing such a wave, he said. Whitefish Bay police have received more than a dozen reports in the last week alone. (Note: Locations on the map represent the block in which a theft occurred, not the exact address.)

Daczyk said the problem is not unique to Whitefish Bay; other North Shore communities are experiencing the break-ins too.  (See associated story on Shorewood Patch).

Dacyzk said the thieves are targeting vehicles that are unlocked and contain valuables. “Don’t leave phones, GPS, or laptops in your car,” he said. “And lock the door. Those are the biggest hings.”

Some residents leave their purses and wallets in plain view inside unlocked cars, he added.

“It’s just common sense that comes from living in cities that you shouldn’t do that,” he said. “We get targeted.”

Recent incidents listed in Whitefish Bay police reports:

  • Oct. 29. Sometime between midnight and 6:45 a.m., two unlocked vehicles were entered while parked in the 800 block of East Hampton. A wallet was  taken from one vehicle.
  • Oct. 28-29. Sometime between 4:30pm and 9 a.m., an unlocked vehicle was entered while parked in the 4800 block of North Sheffield Ave. An iPod was taken. Several other unlocked vehicles were entered with small amounts of change/cash taken.
  • Oct. 28. A woman reported an attempted entry to her Cadillac SUV in the 5100 block of North Elkhart Avenue. Her car alarm went off. No entry was gained.
  • Oct. 27. The passenger window of a woman’s Honda Accord was smashed in the 400 block of East Silver Spring Drive. Her purse was taken, and her credit card was used in Milwaukee.
  • Oct. 24. In the 5100 block of North Santa Monica Boulevard, a woman reported that her silver Mercedes was entered and prescription bottles and $20 in change were taken.
  • Oct. 24. Two unlocked vehicles were also entered in the 5100 block of North Santa Monica Boulevard. Small amounts of coins were stolen.
  • Oct. 24. A man said that his unlocked Audi was entered in the 4900 block of North Santa Monica Boulevard. His wedding ring was taken from the center console.
  • Oct. 23. A man reported that his laptop, iPad and backpack were taken from his unlocked vehicle in the 5500 block of North Shoreland.
  • Oct. 23. A resident came to the Police Department to report entry to unlocked cars in the 5400 block of North Shoreland.
  • Oct. 23. Another resident reported that cars parked in a driveway in the 5400 block of North Shoreland were rummaged through. Nothing was taken.
  • Oct. 23. A car was entered in the 5800 block of North Santa Monica Boulevard. An iPod was stolen.
  • Oct. 22. A man walked into the station to report that his unlocked car was rummaged through that Saturday. Nothing was taken.
  • Oct. 21. A vehicle was entered in the 6000 block of North Shoreland Ave.  Police recovered the items stolen from it.
  • Oct. 21. Two unlocked vehicles were entered in the 5700 block of North Shore Drive. The vehicles were rifled through while parked in the driveway, but nothing was stolen.
  • Oct. 21. A woman came to the police station to report a CD player and sunglasses were stolen from her unlocked vehicle. An address was not provided in the reports.
  • Oct. 21. A woman reported that her iPhone was stolen from her vehicle either at City Market or in her driveway in the 500 block of East Carlisle.
  • Oct. 21. Residents reported that two unlocked vehicles were rummaged through in the 6100 block of North Shoreland Avenue. The resident said that he and his wife were awakened at approximately 4:30 a.m. by screeching tires in front of their house. Only $2 was missing.
  • Two residents reported something more serious: Their cars were taken. On Oct. 21, a man reported his Ford Taurus was taken from the 5900 block of North Santa Monica Boulevard. It was recovered in the 2500 block of N. Buffum St. His checkbook was missing from a center console. A woman reported that her Honda Odyssey was stolen in the 1200 block of East Courtland Place on Oct. 22. Her keys had been left in her front entrance door lock.  The car was eventually recovered in Milwaukee.  

In other recent police reports:

Oct. 25: A home was burglarized in the 900 block of East Circle Drive. A door was left unlocked. Wallets were stolen, and credit cards were fraudulently used.

Oct. 24: A man reported that his home was toilet papered in the 5200 block of North Kimbark Avenue. He cleaned it up and did not want further actions.

Oct. 23: Officers went to the 5000 block of North Shoreland when a woman reported that a suspicious man wearing goggles was looking through garbage. He left the area on a bicycle and was gone by the time police arrived.

Oct. 22: Officers received a call about a loose pit bull. It entered Fox Point. It was captured in the 5300 block of North Diversey Boulevard by officers and an animal control officer.

An officer stopped a vehicle in the 5500 block of North Bay Ridge Avenue. that had been reported stolen through Milwaukee police. The driver fled. Police towed the vehicle to the station for processing and contacted its owner.

A woman was cited for inattentive driving after her gold Volvo rear-ended a black Mercedes after she was looking down because her food fell off the seat. The accident, property damage only, occurred on East Silver Spring Drive at North Santa Monica Boulevard.

Oct. 20: An officer was flagged down by three people trapped by an aggressive pit bull in Estabrook Park. They were freed. The officer was unable to capture the dog.

A man called to report the theft of two political signs (one Romney/Ryan and one Tommy Thompson) overnight. Another Romney sign left on the lawn was damaged. He stated his wife later recovered the Thompson sign in the street, and they have replaced the Romney signs with new ones.

Oct. 19: A woman reported being the victim of a secret shopper employment scam. She said $1,496 was deducted from her checking account.

Squads responded to Fox Bay Cinema, 334 E. Silver Spring Drive, for a report of disorderly subjects at the bar. An employee asked that a couple be removed for spilling popcorn and arguing after the employee refused to accept a coupon.

An officer responded to a report of kids hanging out the window of a silver vehicle and yelling in the 5100 block of North Elkhart Avenue. The officer checked the area but was unable to locate the kids.

An officer was flagged down in the 5000 block of North Ardmore Avenue by a woman who said someone stole her cell phone from her right jacket pocket at the Whitefish Bay High School football game. Police contacted people on the other end of the phone, but they would not identify themselves.

Absolutelyfabulous October 31, 2012 at 07:23 AM
"•Oct. 24. A man said that his unlocked Audi was entered in the 4900 block of North Santa Monica Boulevard. His wedding ring was taken from the center console" Tip of the Day- Remember to put the wedding ring back on after the rendesvouz.
Patrick October 31, 2012 at 09:38 AM
Wait a minute, I still am having trouble recognizing the common theme with these crimes..Do I lock the doors while I am driving and leave the blinker on when I am parked at home? Or....C'mon folks, let's not give them such easy targets. Lock your doors and let's keep these criminals out of Bay- or at least out of our cars. Make it a habit and let's keep the valuables we work for.

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