James E. Causey
Every Sunday, Marlon Rockett stops at the BP gas station on South Kinnickinnic Avenue to fill up his wife’s 2017 Nissan Pathfinder.
On Jan. 3, he paid for his gas at the pump and went inside to grab the free soda that came with the fillup. He left the SUV running with the doors locked, his key fob in hand.
When he walked out of the service station, something looked different.
“I looked at where the truck was, and it was gone. I was only in the store for a minute,” said Rockett, 47.
There was no broken glass near the pump, but the gas station security camera told the story.
A black, late-model Lexus pulled up next to Rockett’s SUV seconds after he went inside. A young man exited the car, went up to the driver’s side and was inside the SUV in seconds. When the Lexus pulled away, the SUV was right behind it.
Rockett flagged down a taxi and cruised the area for 30 minutes, but he didn't find the maroon SUV. It is still missing.
As of Tuesday, 808 vehicles have been stolen in Milwaukee, a 152% increase when compared to the same time in 2020, according to Milwaukee Police Department reports.
This epidemic of car theft, combined with reckless driving and a cadre of young people who have absolutely no fear of consequences has created a crisis in Milwaukee.
What’s scarier: Auto repair companies say they expect things to get worse as young people become more brazen and drive more recklessly.