ST. LOUIS, MO (KTVI) - Bicycle patrols played a key role in the arrest of a man wanted for car break-ins in south St. Louis County.
Francis Zang, 27, faces felony stealing charges. An alert resident contacted police June 28 after observing an individual looking into parked vehicles in the Tiffany Square neighborhood off Tesson Ferry Road. The incident came at a time when police stepped up bicycle patrols in the neighborhood.
“We like to put our officers where we’re going to see a greater impact,” St. Louis County Affton / Southwest Precinct Commander Captain Jeff Fuesting said.
Each St. Louis County Police precinct has a group of officers trained as bicycle officers. At the Affton / Southwest precinct, approximately 10 of the 62 officers are on the bike patrols.
The officers are often dispatched to neighborhoods, and sites where crowd control might be needed.
“It’s the stealth of the bike. They’re able to get into areas where crimes are occurring. Not being seen very well, as a police vehicle,” Fuesting said.
He added that the units are a proven tool for enforcement, as well as community engagement.
“Building a rapport with the citizens, which is greatly needed throughout the region and throughout the United States,” he said.
Tiffany Square resident Terry Reed said he noticed more officers after the recent string of vehicle break-ins.