St. Louis Metropolitan Police got a 911 call from a witness at 3:25 a.m. The caller said they saw a late-model black SUV back into the store`s rear door at Natural Bridge Avenue and Newstead Avenue. The caller reported still seeing the suspects in the store even while they were on the phone with police. But, those thieves were gone by the time officers got to scene.
Police found the back door smashed almost completely off the hinges. They said the back of the store had merchandise thrown all over the floor, and several flatscreen televisions are missing.
City police are looking for a black SUV with rear-end body damage and a gray SUV that left the scene with the first. Investigators were not clear on the make or model. But, the witness said both vehicles would be model year 2000 or later.
This store, as well as several other Rent-a-Center locations, had been the targets of smash-and-grab burglaries before. Most of those stores now have some sort of barricade along the store front. From the look of the front of the North-City store, no one would know there could be heavy damage and thieves in the back.
Store managers helped police look at surveillance tapes for more clues.
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