Thieves Targeting Cars Parked At Hotels

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EDMUNSON, MO (KTVI) - Edmunson police are investigating several car break-ins that happened overnight at an airport hotel.

Sometime between 10pm and 3am, police say five vehicles were broken into at the Marriott on Pear Tree Drive, right near Lambert Airport.  These hotel guests woke up to find their car windows smashed, and valuables gone.

One of the victims, a man from out of state, was heading to a shooting competition.

Edmunson Police Detective Mark Harris says, “He had three weapons in his vehicle that were all taken, all fully loaded and had a large amount of ammunition with him.  He didn’t want to take his weapons into the hotel because he didn’t want to alarm people.”

Now, this man’s legally owned rifle and two hand guns are in the hands of criminals.  “They’re entered into the national crime computer as ‘stolen,’ so if somebody tries to pawn them, or they’re used in a crime, or something of that nature, they’ll be listed as stolen from this incident here,” explains Harris.

The detective feels it’s a good time to remind the public about the free gun locks that Edmunson police and other departments hand out.  The locks can be snaked through the barrel or magazine holder, and make it more difficult for thieves to use stolen guns.

Now, police are working with the hotel to examine surveillance and step up patrols. Harris says, “What we’re doing is researching their surveillance system and we’re talking to hotel guests who may have come in between those hours to see if anybody noticed anything suspicious.”

Despite the investigation and increased police presence, one local has a bad feeling about those break-in victims ever coming back to St. Louis.  Malcolm Murphy says, “Isn’t that horrific, I mean the city is known for its violence, and now you’re putting this out, why would anyone come and visit?”

But not all tourists are heading for the hills.  Tim Swanson is visiting from Birmingham, Alabama, and says he’ll gladly make the drive again: “It’s not going to deter me from coming back again, it’s a wonderful city, I enjoy being here and I will be back.”

Police say some GPS devices were stolen from the other cars in the Marriott parking lot. Meanwhile, Harris says another nearby hotel, outside Edmunson’s jurisdiction, also suffered some car break-ins overnight.

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