Beach Hazard issued for some lakeshore counties until 10 p.m. Sunday

4 thefts in 4 days: Wauwatosa police say thieves targeting locked ‘early 2000 Chrysler minivans’

Data pix.

WAUWATOSA -- Wauwatosa police on Tuesday, Feb. 25 reported four thefts of minivans in four days' time -- the thieves acting fast -- going after a specific vehicle in a specific area.

The most recent crime happened Tuesday morning.

Heidi and Jim Brue deliver auto parts for a living in their early 2000s Chrysler van.

"We count on the money, and we don't get paid if we don't work," said Heidi Brue.

On Saturday, Feb. 22, they couldn't deliver a job.

Heidi Brue

Heidi Brue

"I'm like, 'Your car isn't in the parking lot,' and he thought I was kidding, and I'm like, 'No, it really isn't. It's not there,'" said Heidi Brue.

Their red van was gone near 100th Street and Hampton Avenue, and was the first of four vans stolen in four days. In each case, the doors were locked.

"In all four cases, it was early 2000 Chrysler minivans that were targeted," said Captain Brian Zalewski with the Wauwatosa Police Department.

Brian Zalewski

Brian Zalewski

Another was taken from the same complex as Heidi and Jim's van, another a mile away, and another was swiped while a woman was at church on Sunday.

"It's not usually to go joyriding," said Zalewski. "It's because they want to commit other crimes."

Near 71st Street and Fiebrantz Street, Heidi and Jim's red van turned up, but it wasn't in good shape. Even worse, police said they believe it was used to steal another van.

"Jim had two surgeries in January, and I was sick for two days," said Heidi Brue. "That's three weeks of no pay. They violated our property, our livelihood, our peace of mind for nothing."

If you have an early 2000s Chrysler minivan, take precautions, such as utilizing an anti-theft device, and parking in well-lit areas.

Anyone with information was asked to contact police.

Notice: you are using an outdated browser. Microsoft does not recommend using IE as your default browser. Some features on this website, like video and images, might not work properly. For the best experience, please upgrade your browser.