‘I work too hard for my things:’ Victims frustrated by rash of car break-ins across Milwaukee

MILWAUKEE — A rash of car break-ins has frustrated residents on Milwaukee’s east side. The owner of an auto shop has been swamped with business — something you’d think he’d be happy about, but he’s not.

Tom Almaghrabi with Safe Auto Glass said Wednesday, Feb. 14 he’d worked on more than 20 cars with windows smashed. He said business has been crazy, but he’d like the crimes to stop and business to slow down.

“Walking out bright and early to take my daughter to school. We get out and see the car window is smashed on the driver’s side,” Travis Heipp said.

Heipp was parked near Pleasant and Marshall Tuesday morning.

Travis Heipp

“They’re clearly using the little pokey break-in tool. I mean, look how it’s shattered. Perfectly,” Heipp said.

The suspects didn’t get away with anything, but they left Heipp with more than just a headache.

“Lost wages, lost time. It’s very annoying,” Heipp said.

Heipp was just one of a number of recent victims. Milwaukee police said there were five break-ins in the area on Wednesday morning alone.

Tom Almaghrabi

“Frustrating for the people. Frustrating for us,” Almaghrabi said.

At Almaghrabi’s shop, they worked on 20 vehicles in one day.

“It’s not slowed down. It’s getting worse,” Almaghrabi said.

It’s not just happening in one area in Milwaukee. Lori Bednarek-Wendt was parked on the south side.

“I was in tears. I was just in tears,” Lori Bednarek-Wendt, victim said. “I work too hard for my things and to have that happen, you never anticipate it.”

Lori Bednarek-Wendt

“It’s just annoying to everybody and I don’t see it stopping soon,” Heipp said.

Heipp said he had no personal belongings in his vehicle, which has led him to wonder whether the suspects are smashing windows for fun, or whether they’re actually looking to steal things.

Police said their investigation is ongoing.