ST. LOUIS - In April, the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department showed off an entire room full of stolen items, recovered as a result of a months-long investigation of car break-ins in the downtown and Downtown West neighborhoods. Police say some of the items recovered were stolen in the theft ring from as far back as 2014.
Two men and woman are charged with the crimes after search warrants revealed the stolen goods from their homes.
Police have already linked about 104 cases to the stolen items by serial number through police reports.
Captain Renee Kriesmann, Fourth District Commander, said detectives and officers spent three weeks sorting the stolen goods, categorizing anything from purses to backpacks, electronics, and even instruments to put online for victims to claim. Already 60 more victims have come forward.
“We had a couple really nice stories but today we were able to identify two more laptops and a thumb drive of a couple who was here visiting and their car was broken into,” said Capt. Kriesmann.
The couple was visiting from New York and as small business owners, Captain Kriesmann said they'd been struggling to operate without their laptops. Possibly even more heartbreaking, their thumb drive held all their family photos.
“They were super happy about getting their pictures back so it was good,” said Kriesmann. “It's good for them and it's rewarding for us. It’s what police work is really supposed to be about."
All of the stolen items can be viewed on the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department’s website.
Victims wanting to claim stolen items they can identify on the department’s website should email the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Kreismann said the process of reclaiming stolen goods will be easier if victims filed a police report and can produce the complaint number.
Police said they will hold on to items from 6 months to a year and then they will be sold as unclaimed stolen property.