MILWAUKEE — When an Uber driver’s car was stolen in Milwaukee, she decided to go out and find it herself, never imagining that she might become a murder witness in the process.
Marie, who declined to give WITI-TV her last name, said her son was driving the car on Thursday when he left his keys and phone in the vehicle to run into a gas station. When he came out, Marie’s car was gone.
Using an app, Marie tracked the missing phone — and she found her car.
“I got a hit. I pinged right away,” said Marie.
Marie found the car Saturday morning, October 22nd, near Burleigh and Achilles, in northern Milwaukee. Then, she called police.
"I said, 'I know they're going to be moving again, so we don't have much time,'" Marie remembered telling the 911 operator.
Marie showed WITI her phone to prove that she called the police at 9:19 a.m. She said it took more than 40 minutes for an officer to respond.
"Sure enough, there it goes," Marie remembered thinking as her stolen vehicle drove away. When police spotted the car and tried to stop it, the suspects took off. The officer lost sight of the car and ended the chase.
Marie said she understands why they didn't pursue, "don't endanger the people," but says she's more frustrated at the response time, adding, "It was parked for 47 minutes!"
Police, however, said in a statement that the caller was uncooperative and hung up. When the operator tried to call back three times, no one answered the phone.
Marie said she gave a complete description on the first call.
Still without her car, Marie began looking on Monday by herself. She was getting close to the vehicle's apparent location when she heard what sounded like car doors slamming.
"I looked up, and the man fell and his friend – girl, wife, whatever – fell over the body screaming and the person that shot him took off down the road,"said Marie.
Taped inside the crime scene during a murder investigation (one of four in Milwaukee on Monday), Marie said all she could do was take pictures.
Now, the search for her car has resumed.
"I just want my car. I just want to be able to get back to work and pay my bills. Nothing else," said Marie. "They stole my job. They're driving around in my job right now, my livelihood."
Not only is her income on hold, but the stress is affecting her, she said. "Ate nothing. I've smoke a million cigarettes," Marie said. "Coffee? I'm keeping Maxwell House in business."
Marie says her insurance company is offering to settle for an amount less than what she still owes on the car. Because of that, she believes trying to find the car is her best choice.