Toughening penalties for carjacking approved by Senate after housing inspector’s death

MADISON, Wis. — Penalties for carjacking would be increased under a bill approved by the Wisconsin state Senate.

The measure passed Wednesday comes amid increasing concerns about carjackings in Milwaukee, especially after a respected city home inspector was shot and killed during an attempted carjacking in March.

The Republican-sponsored bill would make carjacking a felony punishable by up to 15 years in prison. Under current law it’s punishable by up to six years in prison.

Repeat offenders could also face 12½ years in prison rather than six under current law.

Democratic Sen. Lena Taylor, of Milwaukee, says the measure won’t reduce the number of carjackings and that innovative solutions are needed. Bill sponsor Republican Sen. Leah Vukmir says “enough is enough” and carjackers need to be held accountable.

It passed 25-7 with bipartisan support.