Police: Man targeting women for robberies, carjackings now in custody

ST. LOUIS - Officers with the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department announced Wednesday they had arrested a man wanted for a string of armed robberies, including a carjacking and kidnappings, in and around the Central West End neighborhood within the past week.

Police said the suspect was picked up in north St. Louis Wednesday on an unrelated case.

According to Officer Michelle Woodling, a St. Louis police spokeswoman, this crime spree began Tuesday, June 12, when the armed man followed a 37-year-old woman to her apartment building on S. Kingshighway Boulevard and robbed her at gunpoint. He later used the victim’s credit card on two separate occasions.

The suspect also robbed a 29-year-old woman on the evening of Friday, June 15. In that instance, the man approached the victim as she walked to her apartment on Clara Avenue. He showed her a gun and then took her money.

Woodling said a 25-year-old woman was carjacked on Sunday, June 17 around 4:40 p.m. in the 4400 block of Maryland Avenue. She was walking to her car when the suspect approached the victim, produced a gun, and demanded that she climb into the passenger seat while he drove her Natural Bridge and Union roads. He used the victim’s ATM card to make several withdrawals. The suspect then drove to the Wohl Center, located on N. Kingshighway Boulevard, where he got out and ran away.

The suspect is said to have committed two brazen robberies in the middle of the day on Tuesday, June 19.

The first of those robberies occurred just after 1:05 p.m. in the 4400 block of Lindell Boulevard. The victim, a 21-year-old woman, told police the suspect followed her into the lobby of her apartment complex, displayed a silver handgun, and demanded her purse. The victim complied and the suspect then went with her into her apartment. The victim began yelling for help, at which point the suspect ran off.

Less than a half-hour later, two elderly women, a 79-year-old and a 77-year-old, were getting into a vehicle in the 4500 block of McPherson Avenue when the suspect got in the backseat of their car. He pulled out the same silver gun and demanded their money and purses. He then ordered the women to drive him to a gas station in the 5000 block of Natural Bridge Road, where he had the 79-year-old use an ATM to give him more money.

The suspect got back in the car with the two women and told them to drive to a different location, but he eventually got out of the vehicle at Cote Brilliant and Belt and fled on foot.

Fortunately, none of the victims were physically harmed.