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Vandals armed with BB guns target south city businesses, residents

ST. LOUIS - BB gun vandals are angering south St. Louis businesses and residents after more than a dozen reported incidents of glass windows being shot out.

Late Saturday night, the Hartford Coffee Company was targeted as someone drove by in car firing a BB gun. Three large windows along the side of the building were shot out. Plywood covers them Monday as the owner adds up the damage it may cost about $3,000 to replace the large windows.

Employees said police told them that there had been about 17 incidents of someone firing a BB gun at cars, homes, and businesses in and around the Tower Grove South neighborhood.

Despite the crime, Hartford Coffee has been very busy as of late, with a large morning and lunch crowd. The customers have been very supportive.

"Things like this are so random and so incidental ... I try very much to play it down so that it doesn’t affect business, because people’s impression of St. Louis is so important to our industry and I try to get out a often as I can and frequent our local restaurants, so that people can see that it’s a safe place to be,” said Mia Turner-Sumpter, a frequent Hartford Coffee customer.

Hartford Coffee Company has been in the neighborhood for 13 years. The current owner wants everyone to know they are open for business and he believes the Tower Grove neighborhood is a great place to work and live.

Anyone with information on the BB gun vandalism is asked to contact the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department.​