Why are so many teens choosing to steal vehicles? Milwaukee Youth Council discusses issue

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MILWAUKEE -- There have been seven fatal crashes involving stolen vehicles in Milwaukee since November, and the number of vehicles stolen in Milwaukee so far this year is nearly double what it was at this time last year. On Wednesday, January 27th, the Milwaukee Youth Council gathered to discuss Milwaukee's car theft epidemic.

The Youth Council is made up of teens who represent young people in their respective districts in Milwaukee.

Kalan Haywood, who represents the 6th District, says teenagers promoting carjackings on social media is becoming the norm.

It stems from a misinterpretation of MPD's pursuit policy.

"So you steal a car. You think they won't chase you -- but when they do, you think 'OK -- I'm going to keep going. I can outrun them. They're going to stop chasing me, and they don't. You get into a car accident. You kill your friend and then you go to jail -- or you kill one of your friends but you survive, and then you still go to jail. It's going to cause a lot of negative side effects in your life," Haywood said.

Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett said over the past 12 months in Milwaukee, 14 people have died in crashes involving stolen vehicles.

The latest fatal crash involving a stolen vehicle happened on January 23rd near N. Port Washington Road and Capitol Drive. 16-year-old DeAnthony Parks lost his life when a stolen vehicle he was riding in crashed into another vehicle and then flipped and went airborne, slamming into a home. Police said on January 27th a 15-year-old passenger had been arrested. Police continue to seek the others who were in that stolen vehicle at the time of the crash, including the driver.

Capitol & Port Washington5


    • Mike

      I do believe that is what they discussed at their meeting yesterday evening. They were trying to find ways to solve the issue.

  • molon labe

    Latent learning occurs in humans. Children may learn by watching the actions of their parent(s) but only demonstrate it at a later date, when the learned material is needed. For example, suppose that LaQuon’s Dad Aunt, drives to the liquor store every day and mean mugs the clerk while stealing a 24oz. Old E. In this way, LaQuon learns the route from his house to the liquor store and how to act, but he’s never driven there himself or stolen anything, so he has not had a chance to demonstrate that he’s learned the way. One morning Laquon’s Mom has to leave early to go get some blunts, so she can’t drive Laquon anywhere. Instead, LaQuon remembers the route to the liquor store and goes on his stolen bike. This demonstrates latent learning. Laquon had learned the route to the liquor store and how to steal/rob it, but had no need to demonstrate this knowledge earlier because of his Aunt, Mom, or who ever are raisingthese animals. Here are some example’s:

  • Fred

    Why they do it?? Easy – Their culture teaches them that they can do whatever they want and the world owes them. I don’t doubt the adults inform them that because they’re minors they’ll get probation at best and be back out if caught. I don’t think kids just figure this out on their own – the role models in their lives are teaching them to become criminals.

    • molon labe

      I expect more from the ADULTS in these communities to be more vigilant and responsible for these actions and the actions of their children. “Rough life” I’ll give you a rough life you suckin nasty body! You misbehave in a dream, you better wake up and apologize. Children learn from their “parents”. The problem is proper inner city parenting and/or lack there of.


    “made up of teens who represent young people in their respective districts ” This is absolutely not true. Wannabe car thieves, carjackers, armed robbers, drug pushers, and run-of-the-mill gang bangers are not represented by an actual decent kid on some council. Kudos to these kids for caring, but the work they do is 100% ineffective except in the fact that it keeps themselves off the streets.

    And using “misinterpretation of MPD policy” as an excuse is ignorant at best. MPD policy (and every other PD policy) clearly says don’t steal cars. Whatever happens after that decision is made is irrelevant. If you don’t steal a car, you won’t have to worry about misinterpreting the chase/no-chase policies.

  • molon labe

    Get on with it.

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