Milwaukee Police Capt. Eric Moore, head of the department’s First District, gave details on the recent East Side carjacking spree to about 90 people attending Historic Water Tower Neighborhood’s monthly meeting Wednesday Jan. 6, 2015.
Moore and several community liaison officers who also attended the HWTN meeting spoke and took questions from residents for 90 minutes about the crimes, police actions and what residents can do to improve their safety.
Moore detailed a carjacking on N. Farwell on Monday morning (see police email below). He also noted that one suspect, 16, had been living in a home for juvenile offenders on the 2500 block N. Murray Ave. after spending time at Lincoln Hills Schools for Boys. Another of the carjackers was a young woman, 17, he said. One of the assailants was arrested for a carjacking later this week in Fond du Lac.
Residents raised many issues, including fears about safety, concerns about recidivism and the desire for a continuation of increased police presence after a 90-day task force in the area expires Feb. 29.
Advice and comments from police a block watch captain from the Sherman Park neighborhood who also spoke and Ald. Nik Kovac included:
- Police cannot keep a permanent enhanced presence due to crimes in other parts of the city, but they will respond as necessary to spikes in crime.
- Residents should trust their instincts when sensing danger and act accordingly. Don’t hesitate to call 911 if possibly in danger.
- Carjackers who have been arrested have told police that their ideal victims are women, older men and people distracted on their phones.
- Residents should get to know their neighbors and be able to contact them about suspicious activity or crimes.
- Police and Ald. Nik Kovac, who also spoke at the meeting, said crime info will be made available via HWTN’s Facebook page, https://www.facebook.com/HistoricWaterTowerNeighborhood/, and Nextdoor.com’s “Historic Water Tower” group, https://historicwatertowerwi.nextdoor.com
- At a member’s request, MPD agreed to provide HWTN with “Block Watch” signs that can be placed in home windows.
During the meeting, some residents:
- Asked about police tactics and strategies to deal with carjackings and other crimes, and some felt they didn’t get a sufficient answer.
- Suggested hiring private security, paid for by neighbors.
- Raised concerns that the criminal justice system was too lenient on offenders and wanted to follow defendants through the process.
- Wanted to see offenders mentored.
- Asked about whether residents should carry concealed weapons.
HWTN plans to meet with Moore and other officers in the near future to continue to improve police notifications to residents and to set up a regular monthly briefing between the police and an HWTN committee about crime trends and issues.
From: Moore, Eric
Sent: Tuesday, January 05, 2016 11:04 PM
To: Kovac, Nik
Cc: Cervantes, Amanda
Subject: Farwell Avenue Carjacking Investigation
Good Evening Alderman,
Below is per your request.
On Monday, January 4, 2016, at approximately 6:20AM, in the 2900 block of N. Farwell Avenue, a 56 year-old Franklin (WI) woman parked her Toyota SUV in front of her son’s residence. As she was sitting in her vehicle, she observed a dark auto drive past her several times (in a northerly direction on N. Farwell Avenue). At one point, the dark auto made a U-turn and pulled behind the victim’s auto. Two of the three occupants in the suspect vehicle (dark auto) exited their vehicle and (they) approached the victim’s auto on the passenger side. The main actor pointed a firearm at the victim and demanded that she “get out of the car”. The victim complied and the two actors jumped into her vehicle and drove off. Those two actors were followed by the third actor who was driving the suspect vehicle (dark auto). The victim was not physically harmed.
Later Monday, at approximately 1:30PM, three occupants (actors) riding in the Farwell Avenue victim’s stolen Toyota SUV, approached a 40 Year-old Wauwatosa woman in the parking lot of the Walmart store located at 4140 W. Greenfield Avenue, West Milwaukee. Two of the actors, one of which was armed with a handgun, approached the victim and attempted to take her Mercedes Benz automobile. The actors were unsuccessful in their attempt and they fled the parking lot in the Toyota SUV without obtaining anything from the intended victim who was not physically harmed.
Shortly after 1:40PM, three occupants (actors) riding in the Farwell Avenue victim’s stolen Toyota SUV approached a 55 year-old Oak Creek man in the parking lot of the HOBO home improvement store located at 3545 S. 27th Street, Milwaukee. Two of actors, while armed with handguns, approached the man and demanded his wallet, money, and 4-door Lincoln automobile. The victim complied and the two armed actors got into his auto and drove off. The stolen Toyota SUV followed the Lincoln off of the HOBO parking lot. The victim was not physically harmed.
At approximately 3:45PM, four occupants (actors) riding in the Farwell Avenue victim’s stolen Toyota SUV pulled alongside a Honda vehicle that was being driven by a 25 year-old South Milwaukee woman in the 2500 block of W. Maple Street, Milwaukee. The Toyota SUV suddenly veered in front of the Honda cutting it off. Two actors exited the Toyota and approached the woman (victim) as she sat in her Honda. One of the actors was armed with a handgun and he ordered the victim out of her vehicle. The victim complied and the two actors got into her vehicle and drove off. The other two actors then followed in the stolen Toyota SUV. The victim was not physically harmed.
At approximately 3:55PM (ten minutes after the Honda offense), two occupants (actors) riding in the Farwell victim’s stolen Toyota SUV passed a Chrysler vehicle that was being driven by a 45 year-old Milwaukee woman in the 2300 block of W. Maple Street, Milwaukee. The Toyota SUV suddenly stopped in the roadway, causing the Chrysler to also stop behind it. One of the two actors in the Toyota SUV exited the vehicle and approached the Chrysler. That actor pointed a handgun at the victim and ordered her to get out of her car and hand over her purse. The victim complied. The armed actor got into the victim’s vehicle and drove off. The other actor then followed in the stolen Toyota SUV. The victim was not physically harmed.
At approximately 11:40PM, Milwaukee Police Officers observed the Farwell Avenue victim’s stolen Toyota SUV and the above-mentioned stolen Chrysler on a near-south side residential street. A foot chase and a vehicular pursuit ensued, and two actors were immediately taken into custody. These actors are ages 19 and 17. On the afternoon of Tuesday, January 5th, a third actor (age 18) was taken into custody, and the Milwaukee Police Department is currently seeking several other identified actors who are believed to have participated to some degree in this crime spree.
It is important to note that, one of the main actors in these offenses is in custody and has admitted involvement in all of the afore-mentioned criminal offenses. At the time of the offenses (yesterday), this main actor was an absconder from a youth home that is located in the area where the Toyota SUV was taken. This actor was recently released from a Wisconsin Correctional Facility following a period of confinement that resulted from a Robbery Adjudication.
The MPD and West Milwaukee PD investigations are continuing.