WASHINGTON COUNTY -- Five teenagers were taken into custody early Thursday morning, June 2nd after leading police on a pursuit into Washington County in a stolen vehicle -- leading to a call for consequences from Milwaukee's police chief and mayor.
This incident began when the Washington County Sheriff’s Office was notified by the Milwaukee Police Department shortly after 12:30 a.m. of a high speed pursuit entering Washington County.
The vehicle that was being pursued by Milwaukee Police Department was reported as stolen in a carjacking during the afternoon of June 1st.
The vehicle became disabled at State Highway 164 and Tuckaway Lane in the Village of Richfield. At that time, five suspects fled on foot from the stolen vehicle.
Washington Sheriff’s deputies and the SWAT Team responded to the scene to assist numerous Milwaukee police officers in an extensive search of the area.
At 4:45 a.m., a citizen contacted the Sheriff’s Office and advised that one of the suspects was observed in the area of State Highway 164 and Monches Road. Authorities responded to the area and apprehended all five suspects.
After this incident, Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett has released the following statement to FOX6 News regarding the teenage suspects' background:
“Early (Thursday) morning, after a lengthy police pursuit, five individuals involved in a Milwaukee carjacking were apprehended in Washington County.
Here’s some background:
Suspect one is 15 years old who had been released on county supervision for two counts of armed robbery. On April 18th of this year, a warrant was issued for being AWOL from county supervision.
Suspect two is also 15 and on county supervision for operating a vehicle without owner’s consent and resisting arrest.
Suspect three is 17 and had fingerprints found on a stolen car.
Suspect four is 15 and was charged with armed robbery on March 26th of this year and listed as missing from the Carmelite Group on May 30th. An arrest warrant was issued on May 31st.
Suspect Five is 15 and was arrested on May 10th of this year for carjacking/operating without owners consent by Brown Deer police. Suspect is on county probation for car theft.
From January 1, 2015 to May 16, 2016, (16-and-a-half months) 483 juveniles have been involved in 703 arrests for operating a vehicle without the owner’s consent – car theft. During this time frame, 130 juveniles, age 16 or younger, were arrested two or more times; 27 juvenile offenders were arrested four or more times and two offenders were arrested six times.
Our year-to-date arrests of juveniles for operating without owners consent are up 72%, for carjacking 189%, for robbery 19% and for armed robbery 16%.
Milwaukee police are arresting these young offenders. In fact, the number of arrests for carjacking and auto theft have been going up each of the last six years. We’re making more arrests and yet we have more young repeat offenders and more young first time offenders.
I have said repeatedly that we are doing these young offenders and the citizens of Milwaukee no favors by having a lack of timely and meaningful consequences to their criminal behavior. Offenders who have multiple arrests, violate juvenile supervision standards, are on probation/parole and commit yet another crime must face real consequences. This is not happening and that has to change. It’s clear, arrests alone, without meaningful sanctions, are not and will not deter juvenile crime.”
"Everybody we arrest, sometimes it feels like, certainly (Wednesday) night it feels like, is already out 'on supervision.' It's a running joke," said Milwaukee Police Chief Ed Flynn.
Chief Flynn and Mayor Barrett are calling on county and state probation departments and judges to impose real sanctions for young offenders.
"There has to be consequences -- and if it has to be out of home placement, then it has to be out of home placement. But supervision, county supervision has to be meaningful. It can't just be check in and they don't check in and there's nothing there," said Barrett.
"Being on county supervision is not being on supervision at all, and the kids know it," said Flynn.
Flynn and Barrett say this is a dangerous problem, as over the past year, 17 people have died in stolen vehicles in Milwaukee.
A spokeswoman for Milwaukee County Executive Chris Abele issued this statement to FOX6 News regarding this incident:
"The crime occurring in the city of Milwaukee isn't a city problem or a county problem - it's an everyone problem, and it requires elected officials at all levels of government to work together to find a solution. Clearly, we can all do better. That is one of the reasons we've partnered with the city to help them fund public safety initiatives like ShotSpotter and CART teams. The county will continue to focus our efforts, resources, and public comment on real solutions, not blame."