ST. LOUIS – A mural hanging inside Steve’s Hot Dogs on South Grand used to be the board that covered the front door after a recent break-in.
“They got nothing,” owner Steve Ewing said.
Ewing’s surveillance video shows three people looking for cash. You can see at least one of them is armed.
“They basically just came in, broke windows, tore things off the wall. They were just looking for stuff. They didn’t get anything,” he said.
Repairing the damages is still a financial setback for Ewing, just as other preventative measures are increasing costs, like the nearly indestructible Safe Haven Defense window film. Dozens of businesses are preparing to add it.
“We already have small profits,” Ewing said.
But on Wednesday, investigators with the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department say they have a person in custody who may be responsible for a third of the 69 burglaries reported in the city in just the past month.
They’re currently investigating his connection to other suspects, and they said they intend to work with federal prosecutors on a criminal charge involving the suspect’s illegally-modified firearm.
“You can’t really make out anybody in the video, so I imagine it would be really hard to catch them, but I’m hoping that they did so this stops,” Ewing said.
City police say they’re working with county authorities on the case, and they’ve discovered other pieces of evidence at the suspect’s home that may connect the dots between different crimes.
Late Wednesday, the St. Louis Circuit Attorney’s Office charged 18-year-old Zavion McGee with charges of burglary, stealing, and property damage.
Charging documents say one case involves the August 8 dispensary smash-and-grab in the Central West End. The other is for an October 16 smash-and-grab at Colombo’s on Manchester.
The court documents indicate Kim Gardner’s office is reviewing at least nine other cases.
Ewing wants to make sure the damage doesn’t scare away customers from returning to such a thriving community on South Grand.
“That’s actually why we moved to this location,” Ewing said. “…because we love all of the traffic. We love all the other restaurants, all the other businesses, but not everybody understands that. So I just want people to come down here and get that experience. If they come down here, they’ll figure that out.”