South St. Louis business owners frustrated by crime on their block

ST. LOUIS – Some south St. Louis business owners are hoping someone can put a stop to the crime happening on their block.

In recent weeks, those who live and work on Virginia Avenue in Carondelet, near Dutchtown, have seen everything from property damage to break-ins.

Suzanne Jackson is the proud owner of Bark Avenue Pet Grooming, a business that has been a fixture in south St. Louis for nearly 18 years.

“Both of the air conditioning units on the roof were stolen. They took ours, plus the business next door,” Jackson said. “Then this past weekend, we came in and noticed one of our windows were bashed in.”

Her business wasn’t alone. Further down the block, a recent newcomer to the neighborhood had begun to beautify the property in front of his storefront.

“He put a bunch of planters. Like $300 planters. There were five of them. And he was trying to beautify the space before he rehabbed it. And they smashed every single one of them,” she said.

It is unclear who is responsible for the latest acts of vandalism, and whether they might be connected. But Jackson is convinced.

“I can say for sure that it’s people from the neighborhood that are doing this destruction. I think it’s the kids that don’t have – you know, any solid upbringing,” she said. “Their parents are working or they’re busy. It seems like kids these days are an afterthought.”

The incidents bring sadness to those like Jackson, who run their business with pride.

“We have the most fantastic clientele. And absolutely love what we do,” Jackson said.