Surveillance video may lead to car break-in suspects

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ST. LOUIS, MO (KTVI)-- Police are reviewing security camera video from a downtown St. Louis gas station that could lead them to the suspects in Sunday night`s string of 30 car break-ins in Forest Park.

Fox 2 News alerted police to the tape Tuesday afternoon after being contacted by a victim of one of those break-ins, who was told by his credit card company that someone tried to make a purchase with his stolen card at 11:30 P.M  Sunday night at the Gas Mart near Broadway and Chouteau.

The purchase was denied.

The gas station has a sophisticated security camera system and allowed Fox 2 to review video from late Sunday night and early Monday morning, looking for men matching the description given by the victim.

The victim and a friend, with whom he had come to the park to go jogging at about 9:00 P.M. Sunday, says he saw three men hanging around his car just before he discovered the break-in. The thieves got in by shattering the front passenger window.  Among the items stolen was the victim`s wallet, which was in the glove compartment.

"I saw a bunch of people running around, I believe there was a driver," said the victim, whose identity we are concealing for his safety since his stolen wallet contained his personal information.

"They were all (wearing) white polo shirts and they had deep colors, like an orange stripe with neon type colors," the victim said.

The security camera video shows two cars arriving at the gas station at 12:04 A.M. Sunday morning. One car was white and the other black.

Several witnesses, including the victim who contacted Fox 2, said they had seen the suspects fleeing in a black Nissan Altima.  Additionally, the victim in this story says he saw a man in a white tee-shirt and black shorts quickly leave the area where the break-ins happened in a white car.

At 12:04 A.M. Monday morning, the gas station video shows a man in a white tee-shirt coming into the station at the same time as two men wearing brightly striped shirts.

There are however, two discrepancies involving the video.

First, the time stamp on the video shows the men arriving at the station a half-hour later than the time the credit card company reported denying the purchase, and second, the video does not clearly show any of them paying for their purchases with a credit card.

Still, the victim tells Fox 2 he is positive the men and cars in the video are the same as those he saw Sunday night.

Late Tuesday afternoon, police were reviewing the video tape.  Fox 2 has not revealed the faces of the men in the video because they have not been labeled as suspects, but should police wish to release the pictures, the original video includes very clear images of two the men`s faces.

The victim who spoke to Fox 2 believes the neat appearance of the men he saw Sunday is how they have been able to avoid suspicion while going through the park breaking into cars.

Related Stories:

More car break-ins in St. Louis City

Police cracking down after several car break-ins at The Muny

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