“Putting up 13-year-old kids to steal:” Police investigate break-ins at dealerships in Mount Pleasant

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Police are investigating another round of break-ins at car dealerships in southeast Wisconsin. Two separate break-ins occurred early Thursday morning, July 7th in Mount Pleasant.

Mount Pleasant police say thieves hit the Palmen Dodge Chrysler Jeep dealership on Washington Avenue -- along with a Toyota dealership on Kilbourn Drive. The burglaries occurred between 1:44 a.m. and 3:10 a.m.

"They attempted to get a couple of vehicles off the showroom floor," said Captain Brian Smith, Mount Pleasant Police Department.

At Palmen Chrysler, the suspect(s) smashed the glass to the showroom -- and then attempted to steal a Jeep Cherokee by driving it into the glass showroom wall repeatedly.

The Jeep was abandoned, still running, jammed against the wall half way out of the building. The suspect(s) unsuccessfully attempted to steal another vehicle on the showroom floor.

Police investigate break-ins at car dealerships in Mount Pleasant

A few miles down the road, another break-in occurred at Racine Toyota. Police say the suspects gained entry by smashing a glass door near the service department. The suspects then drove a car from inside the service department through the overhead garage door -- and then abandoned that car on the dealership lot.

At this time, it is unknown if any vehicles were taken from either dealership. Officers remain on scene at both dealerships and the investigation is ongoing.

"Somebody's putting up 13-year-old kids to steal cars and explaining and showing how to do it, it's really unfortunate," said Captain Smith.

This is the third break-in at a car dealership in Mount Pleasant in the last week. A 13-year-old boy was arrested early Monday, July 4th after allegedly burglarizing the Porcaro Ford dealership Mount Pleasant, stealing a car and then crashing that vehicle. Officials say they are searching for four other persons in connection with this case.

"Unfortunately it could be gang-related type of initiation where they're going and part of it is stealing cars. They could be selling them for, you know, we heard rumors of $1,000 and then they're being used in drug activity," said Smith.

Police investigate break-ins at car dealerships in Mount Pleasant

Palmen Chrysler issued the following statement, saying in part, "Our customer's vehicles are safe and protected with our video security systems, state of the art burglar alarm system and onsite security officers."

Police say the suspect(s) may still be in the stolen Ford Escapes (one white, one Grey) from the Porcaro Ford July 4th burglary. They are hoping surveillance video from the break-ins will give them clear pictures of the people they're dealing with.

Monitor FOX6 News and FOX6Now.com for updates on this developing story.


  • liberty

    Nothing ever happens to these punks so why should this stop? New York gangs used 13 year olds as hit men in the past because nothing happens to minors. The crime should fit the punishment not the age. These kids know they will walk so why fear anything?

  • Michael Neils

    Gotta be the same crew. Adult crime=adult crime LOCK them UP!! Eventually one of them is going to get shot or killed over these cars and then the bleeding hearts will start-oh poor kids nothing to do at 2 am. Need more programs and funding. At 2am your backside should be home in bed, sleeping so you can get up at dawn to mow lawns, make donuts or whatever your legal, taxpaying part time job is.

    • Stupid is as Stupid Does

      But that’s another problem Michael… see, kids at 13 can’t even get a part time job… and if they’re 15 or 16, there aren’t any jobs for them because of the poor economy, and that would then affect momma’s food stamps because of the additional nominal income into the home… see… how are they supposed to eat if they have jobs? I hope you’re detecting the sarcasm here… I’m laying it on pretty thick….

      In all seriousness, there are numerous ways to handle these problems. I still think the best I’ve heard is to start punishing the parents as well as the kids. I have a 16 year old, who has gotten in some trouble mind you, nothing quite as serious as car theft or carjackings, but regardless, my wife and I had laid down the law and therefore, it was a much more serious issue for his rear end than the ticket was. If parents would discipline their kids, chances are these staggering numbers of thefts would significantly drop. The problem is that the nanny state of WI has all but told parents they can’t discipline their children. What they failed to realize was that a lack of consequences for bad behavior would have this effect on the local community. The problem there too was the fact that they also failed to see the difference between discipline and abuse.

      I think my father said it best when he picked me up from a police station after an underage drinking party I had attended in my youth. His exact words were, “This is your one get out of jail free card, it’s played, there are no more…. I hope it was worth it.”

      Some sort of monetary forfeiture and potentially some time in the pokey, we should see some decline in these youth related crimes. Will it be enough? Who knows, but frankly, it’s better than what we’ve been doing, which of course is nothing. Another way to fix it? Stop their tax funded benefits. No more food stamps, Badgercare, rent assistance, etc. will likely have the greatest effect of all. What our leaders need to realize is that they are the enablers with the lax enforcement of penalties, and of course, the continued support of the parents of these kids through tax payer funded programs.

      • Clinton

        I have to disagree with you SIASD. The best way to stop these car dealership thefts is to have a couple people armed with AR15’s inside and as soon as they gain entry open fire. If a few get killed or severely injured that will slow the trend down.

      • Reasonless

        Stupid is as Stupid Does,
        I agree with you 100%.
        When the parents start forfeiting their government benefits due to their child’s misbehavior, they will pay a lot more attention to what the kid is doing.

        As far as Clinton’s comment, Clinton again shows the damn fool that he or she really is.
        Its individuals like Clinton that give all gun owners a bad name by sounding like a complete enraged idiot.

      • iguest76

        Monetary forfeiture? With what? Taxpayers are already providing free healthcare, food stamps, rent, cell phones, bus fare, etc. Forfeitures would seriously cut into the manicure/weave/firearms budget.

  • leaving kilwaukee

    KILWAUKEE and other areas have millions of trees and millions of feet of rope time to decorate the main streets with this subhuman trash to remind just what happens when the law is broken


    At 13 they can’t possibly know how to drive anything. Armed guards. If in the building shoot to kill. None of this BS of hitting in the legs. Aim for the head. Someone needs to set an example.

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