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West Allis Police looking to "The Club" to stop thefts

West Allis Police looking to "The Club" to stop thefts

By Jermont Terry. CREATED Jul 26, 2011

WEST ALLIS - West Allis Police are trying a new method to stop car thefts.

This week the department will hand out “The Club” to owners of select vehicles.

"Auto thefts in the city are up 51 percent," said Lieutenant Chad Evenson.

Evenson said the crooks are stealing 1998 to 2001 cars and mini-vans. Most are Chrysler/Dodge/ Plymouth brands. They include the Town and Country, Caravan and Voyager.

"I'm pretty surprised the Dodge is on the list," said Jim Blask. Blask lives in West Allis and owns one of the targeted vehicles on the list. He likes the idea the police are doing something unique to try to stop car thefts.

When asked if he would use the auto-theft device Blask said, "I'd probably would out of respect for the police department."

For the first time the department will provide drivers who own the targeted vehicles with the auto-theft device, "The Club". Evenson said, "We wanted to take a pro-active approach. The arrests aren't curbing the problem." Some West Allis residents like Pavol Marko aren't sure the club will make a difference.

"When I lived in Europe we had the same club and this one is easy to break."

Police say this isn't their only deterrent. They have bait cars around the city and increased patrols. The money to buy the devices came from cash and items seized in other illegal activities.

Jermont Terry

Jermont Terry

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Jermont Terry joined the TODAY'S TMJ4 team in January 2011. He currently leads the TMJ4 I-Team as the investigative reporter.