By Courtney Sisk
MILWAUKEE (WISN) — One Milwaukee family fell victim to car theft on Christmas Day.
It happened around 2:45 p.m. Saturday near 37th and Mitchell streets.
The owner of a gray Toyota RAV 4 said he, his fiancé and three kids were at a family gathering. He loaded his car up with their presents and ran back into the house to get his 2-year-old ready to go.
“The moment it happened I knew it,” he told WISN 12 News. “And I walked outside and I said ‘Yeah, it’s gone.'”
Surveillance footage shows the moment it happened. In the video you see another car pull up next to the family’s RAV 4. It appears to show someone getting out of the car and into the driver’s seat of the family’s vehicle, then they take off.
The owner said he’s not shocked but is disappointed.
“You should be comfortable enough to go and start your car without somebody stealing it,” he said. “I can’t feel comfortable anymore. Somebody has the keys to my house now. [I] have to change all my locks.”
Milwaukee car theft hit record highs in 2021.
So far this year more than 10,200 vehicles were stolen. That’s a 133% increase since 2020.
“I’ve had multiple things stolen from me in this city,” he told WISN 12 News. “I didn’t even have this problem back home in St Louis, which is a little bit worse, I thought, than Milwaukee but come to find out Milwaukee is up there.”
He said city leaders need to do more to crack down on the crime.
He said although the family’s car and Christmas presents are gone, the situation could have been worse.
“I’m grateful that none of the kids were in the car when it happened because literally I was about 30 seconds from putting my son in the car and they would have taken him too,” he said.
The family set up a GoFundMe to try and replace some of the kid’s gifts. To donate click here.
The family said they filed a police report, but the vehicle is still missing.
It is a gray 2018 Toyota RAV 4 with damage to the driver’s side door. The license plate number is ABL1006.
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