Prosecutors: Man accused in car thefts said his group competed with another

Terrance Tarleton

MILWAUKEE -- A competition to see who can steal the most cars landed a Milwaukee man in jail. Terrance Tarleton, 19, is charged in connection to the theft of vehicles in Milwaukee, Glendale and Whitefish Bay.

Tarleton faces the following charges:

  • Operating vehicle without owner's consent (knowing passenger) -- two counts
  • Bail jumping (felony) -- three counts
  • Harboring or aiding a felon
  • Concealing stolen property (less than $2,500)

According to a criminal complaint, the owner of a BMW reported her car stolen from Berkeley Boulevard in Whitefish Bay on Aug. 20. The car was located near 16th and Fiebrantz in Milwaukee later that same day. It was parked and abandoned.  Officers processed the vehicle, looking for fingerprints. They were able to match a print from the passenger side window to Tarleton.

The complaint indicates on Aug. 27, an officer looked at another person's Facebook page -- whose fingerprints were also on the recovered BMW. Depicted on the Facebook page was a picture of two vehicles, a Toyota SUV and Honda SUV (that had been reported stolen from Glendale) along with five individuals. Tarleton was one of the five people in the Facebook photo.

Later on Aug. 27, an officer checked the area of 16th and Fiebrantz for additional stolen cars due to the BMW being recovered at that location. The officer located the stolen Honda SUV, Toyota SUV and another Honda sedan (which had been reported stolen from Milwaukee).

"It was becoming an epidemic for a good couple of... two or three weeks," said Officer Todd Lynch, Glendale Police Department.

That same day, officers executed a search warrant at Tarleton's residence near 16th and Fiebrantz. The complaint indicates officers "recovered several items, including a Ruger 9mm handgun in the rafters in the basement, as well as ammunition, multiple cellphones, multiple car keys and key fobs as well as multiple manuals for vehicles." Officers also located the key fobs for the BMW and Honda SUV. Tarleton was taken into custody prior to the execution of the search warrant.

When questioned by investigators, Tarleton "admitted being in the Facebook photo" with the Honda and Toyota SUVs, the complaint says. He also admitted that he knew the SUVs were stolen. The complaint says Tarleton admitted being a passenger in the Honda SUV and "stated that he did not think he was doing anything wrong. Tarleton stated "what kid wouldn't want to drive in a newer car and be seen by girls?"

According to the complaint, Tarleton denied stealing cars, but "stated that he would just go through cars and search for money." He indicated "he is part of the Hampton Boys and that they have a rival group, the Professional Stoley Riders (PSR) and they compete to see who's the best driver of stolen cars and who has the most girls."

Tarleton made his initial appearance in court on Aug. 31. Cash bond was set at $5,000.  He is due back in court for a preliminary hearing on Friday, Sept. 21.

Online court records show another open case out of Racine County, filed in January.

In that case, Tarleton was chaged with possession of a firearm by an adjudicated delinquent of a felony, take and drive vehicle without consent, receiving or concealing stolen property, less than $2,500 and theft of movable property, less than $2,500.

Records show a bench warrant was authorized in August when he failed to show up in court.