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“It’s a violated feeling:” Woman upset over late response from police tracks down stolen car on her own

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MILWAUKEE -- Last month, FOX6 told you about a woman who tracked down her own stolen car. By the time police responded though, the car was gone. We've got an update: Marie Cunningham has her car back, and has a heck of a story to go along with it.

Marie Cunningham

Marie Cunningham

Inside Marie Cunningham's Toyota Corolla, the thieves left behind trash and some parting gifts.

"Their slippers and their Odor-Eaters. 'World's Finest Chocolate,' made in the USA. They left me a full unopened can of Coke," said Marie.

Where did Marie find her car this time? A south side tow lot.

"Abyss Towing. I'm racking my brain," Marie said.

Abyss Towing

Abyss Towing

They towed the car from an apartment complex in West Allis, and called Marie once they ran the VIN number. At first, Marie said she got a bill for about $700.

"I said, 'Google FOX6, blah blah blah,' so within five minutes, she calls me back and she's like 'oh my God. We watched it with the owner. We're going to waive your fees,'" said Marie.

Last month, FOX6 News met Marie when she first found her car on the north side. It was stolen when her son left it running at Wauwatosa gas station. Marie was mad because it took Milwaukee police 40 minutes to respond.


"They told me they would make this an emergency," said Marie.

The police log shows Marie called MPD at 9:20 a.m. on October 22nd. She said her car was already used to steal someone else's vehicle in Brown Deer. By 10:02 a.m., no one had shown up.

Marie Cunningham

Marie Cunningham

"I called it in and the police never responded -- so now my vehicle, that stolen vehicle I was sitting by, got up and moved," said Marie.

About five minutes later, police saw the car, but cancelled the pursuit as the thieves drove recklessly. MPD officials told FOX6 News the district captain is still working with Marie to figure out what happened that day.

Marie Cunningham

Marie Cunningham

Marie said she's glad to have her car back. It's pretty important since she's an Uber driver, but she said she doesn't think there's any way she can keep it.

"I don't, you know? It's creepy. People were in it. It's a violated feeling. It's creepy," said Marie.

Marie said she's now working with the car dealer to see if she can arrange some sort of trade in. She confirmed she has been talking to the captain in MPD's District 5, adding she still wants to know why it took 40 minutes for police to respond.


  • Slowmpd

    I think it took so long for the police to show up because they don’t do community policing and forsure they don’t care about theft and anything of the sort. No urgency what so ever.

  • Whatever People!

    How about this….There are too few cops and they are too busy handling all the stupid calls and taking reports from people who think its ok to leave there car running unattended at gas stations or those who leave there stuff out, unsecured for others to steal. If the cops weren’t out taking all those BS reports, there would be more cops available to respond in a more timely manner.

  • marcus wilson

    Hey Flynn isn’t stealing a car a crime? Then you see it and call off a pursuit for driving recklessly which is another crime As a tax paying citizen of this lousy city I would like to hear why you sat on your ass and let these thugs go. It seems to me that you were derelect in your duties in protecting and serving the citizens of this city. I know your buddy and boss Barrett put you up to this tactic. I just wonder if it was your car that was stolen if you cancel the pursuit We pay allot in taxes and deserve that you do the job that your getting well paid for to protect the people of Milwaukee and that includes auto theft

  • Mike Johnson

    not defending a car theft by any means but if i was a cop i wouldnt be too quick either after hearing her stupid kid left the car running in the parking lot… i mean how stupid can we be

  • phacepalm

    In this day & age… Anyone who leaves a car running unattended should be riding the bus. Way too many stupid people!

  • Really??

    Better question… If the car was stolen from a gas station in Wauwatosa, why on Earth did she call the Milwaukee police? Wauwatosa would have been there fast. Of course Milwaukee isn’t going to respond fast to a crime in Wauwatosa…

  • Jim

    Cops in milwaukee have always been slow to respond. when i lived in milwaukee there was a car crash by my house and one of the people involved was injuryed badly. it still took the officers over 4 hours to get there and about 2hours of interviewing everyone to realize that they needed an ambulance. that was over 10years ago. now if i have to call the police i tell them, “either you guys get here and do your job or i do it and itll get messy.” works every time.

  • Metal Maniac

    This lady seems like a complete nut job.

    Her son should be riding the bus or riding a bike.

    MPD in general has a piss poor attitude. I walked in one day to try to do a ride along and they guy told me that I don’t want to be a cop. I told him I was doing it to get a better understanding of what goes on. He said that I would need to take out some sort of insurance policy that would cost more than its worth. I just walked out, screw the MPD. I totally get why people hate cops.

    Here in Los Angeles they gladly take me on ride alongs.

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