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“Like they were grocery shopping:” At least 13 garages, cars broken into on Milwaukee’s south side

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MILWAUKEE -- A rash of early morning break-ins on Thursday, August 17th led to concern on Milwaukee's south side. One neighbor caught the suspects on camera, and shared the video with FOX6 News.

Alderman Mark Borkowski issued a news release that indicates between midnight and 3:00 a.m., at least 13 garages and cars were broken into between S. 38th and S. 50th -- and W. Manitoba to W. Cleveland.

Home security cameras were rolling.

Three men appeared on Jay Baumgardner's surveillance footage early Thursday morning, exiting a vehicle with the driver still inside. They then broke into his elderly neighbor's garage.

"They just cleared her garage out. She did not even know what they took. I felt terrible," said Baumgardner.

South side garage break-ins

Turns out, this was only one of 13 garage break-ins in the area. Alderman Borkowski retrieved messages from residents as soon as he got into his City Hall office.

"The area, it was from 38th and 50th in those three hours," said Borkowski.

Mark Borkowski

Baumgardner recorded about five to six minutes of the burglars in his neighbor's garage.

"That's a lot, a lot, a lot of time -- so it was almost like they were grocery shopping," said Baumgardner.

Police say the burglars stole items from garages and from the vehicles inside them.

"Everybody needs to be more diligent. A lot of times, the side garage door was open this morning. They got in the garage. They can get things in the garage and how many people lock their car in the garage? Right? They just think the car is safe," said Borkowski.

In July, Baumgardner's camera on the front of his home also captured four suspects in another van canvassing parked cars, looking for unlocked doors.

"Checked every single car like it was a routine, like they planned it out and practiced it over and over and over again," Baumgardner said.

Baumgardner said he wonders whether it's the same people. As an active member of his neighborhood groups, he has a message for the suspects:

Jay Baumgartner

"We're all watching together to get it solved," said Baumgardner.

Borkowski said he will ask the nearby police district canvas the alleys once a month. Meanwhile, he's asking people to lock garage and car doors and don't leave valuables in vehicles.

Anyone with information on the break-ins is urged to call the Milwaukee Police Department.

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