GERMANTOWN -- Suspects were caught on camera in Germantown trying to break into several vehicles while the owners were sleeping. One victim made it easy for them to drive off -- leaving his vehicle unlocked with the keys inside. His vehicle was later involved in a fiery crash in Milwaukee.
Exclusive video shows at least two brazen crooks wandering around in the neighborhood near Happy Hollow and County Line Road early Saturday, Aug. 11. A security light spooked them.
"Between midnight and 6 a.m., we had another rash of car break-ins. We had one car stolen," said Officer Robert Case, Germantown Police Department.
Officer Case said it's still unclear whether the weekend incidents are connected, but video shows the same group desperately seeking some hot wheels. Near Germantown High School, Case said crooks got an unlocked 2017 Chevy Malibu.
"That person left his keys in the car for them to take his car," said Officer Case.
Investigators say the Malibu was later found crashed at 23rd and Brown in Milwaukee -- engulfed in flames.
"Everyone in the neighborhood turns lights on at night now just trying to keep everything well lit," said Bill Krolick, who lives in the neighborhood hit on Saturday.
Neighbors said they're being extra cautious, with other attempted entries on the village's west side.
Case said on Saturday alone, two vehicles were rummaged through and one vehicle had its window broken, but no items were stolen.
"They're going through a lot more cars in different areas of the village," said Case.
Even more troubling, in just the last month, the number of break-ins or attempted break-ins have reached concerning numbers for some.
"You're just not safe anywhere anymore," said Krolick.
"We're in the 40s that were reported, but you have to realize too -- a lot of people don't call us," said Case.
Again, police aren't certain whether all of these incidents are connected, but they're urging everyone who had their vehicles broken into, and even people who just had the doors open and items rummaged through to call police. They said that will help them establish a timeline and hopefully, garner more clues.