Botanical Garden to increase security for Garden Glow

ST. LOUIS - Carjackings are occurring in St. Louis city at a rate of more than two a day. Most occurrences have happened south of Interstate 44, with many in the Shaw Neighborhood.

The Missouri Botanical Garden wants to ensure visitors are safe and sound for one of the biggest holiday events of the year, the Garden Glow.  The holiday event attracts thousands of people every night and it begins this Saturday.

The recent rise in carjackings around south St. Louis is on the minds of garden officials. The garden is increasing security patrols during the night time event.  Katie O’Sullivan is a spokeswoman for the garden.  She said, “Anytime you we have a major event we do have extra security this Garden Glow won’t be different, we will have our own security we’ll have additional security.”

The latest carjacking happened in the 3900 block of Shenandoah Monday night.  Three men stole a man’s 2017 Chrysler at gunpoint. There have been four carjackings in the Shaw neighborhood, and two attempts in less than a week.  Matthias Sommer lives on Shenandoah, “I’ve heard about it from a number of different people which suggest a lot of people are talking about it.”

Police say the crimes occur between 7 and 10 in the evening. They’ve arrested five suspects, still nine other carjacking’s have happened in south city.  St. Louis Metropolitan Police Captain Angela Coonce said, “There’s no rhyme or reason that we can put together. Typically, if we see a string like this we make a few arrests then we’ll see the string will stop and that has not happened.”

She says witnesses don’t get a good description of the suspects.  Captain Coonce added, “They’re pulling theirhoodies over their faces and it’s making it very difficult for the victims to make an identification.”

While the carjacking’s put some people on edge, people like Tara Norwood are not worried.  She owns several guns. She said, “I was in the army I do have some training under my belt and I do carry, so if someone were to try to take my car or harm me or my children I will defend myself.”

Two victims have been injured by the criminals. The crimes happen as people exit or enter their vehicles. If you pull up at your home and you notice someone strange nearby police say you should just take another lap around the block until it’s all clear. Police believe that’s how some people avoided being a victim.