ST. LOUIS, MO (KTVI)-Three overnight robberies in downtown St. Louis, including one near Ballpark Village may be part of a bigger string of robberies that have been happening since the first of the year.
The first of those three robberies happened at half past midnight here on Broadway near Ballpark Village. But that was only the first robbery of the night and, according to the police chief, the suspects may be responsible quite a few more.
“We believe there could be dozens of robberies that they are responsible for,” said St. Louis Police Chief Sam Dotson.
The three most recent robberies all happened minutes apart. The first victims were a group of five men walking near Ballpark Village. Three suspects jumped out at them from a red Chevy Blazer. One robber had a gun. They robbed the men and sped off.
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Moments later, they did the same thing to a couple moving into their new apartment in the 2100 block of Delmar. They robbed two more victims a couple of minutes later a block away on Lucas.
Chief Dotson thinks the robbers are coming from the Metro East because police keep finding their getaway cars abandoned in Washington Park.
“They steal a car, they drive over to this side of the river and quickly rob two or three people, two or three robberies and get back on the highway and go back across the river,” says Dotson.
Dotson says the department is responding by increasing the number of police officers downtown, some in uniform and some in plain clothes, and some on bikes. They will also be monitoring traffic on the bridges.
Missy Kelley with the Downtown St. Louis Partnership calls the crime “frustrating because in a way this is a symptom of success.”
The partnership has been trying to discourage crime by adding security cameras.
“People are coming here and where there are crowds and there are a lot of people that is where this is opportunity for crime.”
Not all those dozens of robberies the chief talked have happened in the city. Many have been in the Metro East. St. Louis police are working with Illinois police trying to catch the thieves.
The suspects from last night are described only as three black males wearing hooded sweatshirts and jogging pants. Again, the car they were in was a red four door Chevy Blazer.