ST. LOUIS, MO (KTVI) - St. Louis police are busy after nearly two dozen cars were broken into overnight. The crimes happened in the Midtown and downtown areas.
"It`s real upsetting. I just didn`t think it was going to be my car," said 20-year-old SLU student Ben Bippen after finding out Monday morning that his car had been broken into.
It was parked on Locust in midtown outside of Ben`s apartment when the crime happened.
Ben`s Lexus was one of at least 19 cars in midtown and downtown that police say were hit by thieves.
"My stuff is laying here, I live right upstairs, I park here every night, and someone comes and breaks in my window and takes my school backpack, you know. I don`t know what they`d want with that. Unfortunately, I had my iPad in there but other than that just school books," said Bippen.
Police tell us all of the break-ins happened Sunday night into early Sunday morning.
Piles of glass marked the parking area just off Olive in midtown where police say seven of the cars were broken into.
Investigators say thieves swiped purses, speakers, jackets and shoes. Those kinds of items were discovered not far away lying in the street.
Police gathered them up and took them in for potential evidence. One other car was also broken into on Olive near the same parking area. Police say a dashboard TV was stolen from that vehicle.
Another six car were hit in Laclede`s Landing in the area of North Second and MLK.
We`re told stereos and speakers were stolen there.
Five additional cars were broken into at two other downtown locations.
All of the break-ins have Ben thinking twice about security in general. "My buddy`s got an alarm, one of those viper alarms on his car, guess get one of those. I don`t know what else to do," said Bippen.
Police believe the same group of suspects are behind all of the break-ins.
Police are looking for up to eight African-American men in two cars. One was a red 2013 Chevy Impala. The other was a silver Dodge Ram crew cab pick-up. One or both of those vehicles may have been stolen.