ST. LOUIS – Cooperation between police in St. Louis City and County continues to overturn clues in the area’s rash of smash-and-grab crimes.
Zavion McGee, 18, is currently in jail on no bond. He was charged Wednesday in cases that police say are just the beginning of what they hope to uncover.
More break-ins were caught on camera just this past weekend. One of the suspects was carrying an assault rifle while several other people grabbed what appeared to be an ATM, which they loaded it into a car with no plates.
“Sunday night for sure, there were a bunch of places hit,” said Eddie Hsia, owner of Saigon Café. “We check the camera more often, become more precautious.”
Business precautions are paying off as St. Louis police found evidence in several crimes that led them to a Florissant home on Stoney End Court. That’s where detectives from both the city and county served a search warrant and arrested McGee.
Court records say they found a “unique camouflage-hooded sweatshirt, with lightning bolts, and a smiley face print on the front and back,” and that it, “matches a sweatshirt worn by one of the suspects captured on video surveillance.”
One of the locations, according to a probable cause statement, is the Good Day Farm Dispensary on South Euclid, where police say McGee’s cellphone data linked him to the scene of the crime during the break-in.
“They’re very hard to catch, but this is how to do it,” said Jim Whyte, Central West End Neighborhood Security Initiative.
Whyte was ecstatic over the police work, saying, “That’s really the success we hope for. We have these different crimes happening all over the region, and these different agencies coming together, working together, and running down leads.”
Police and prosecutors say they’ve also linked McGee to the Oct. 16 break in of Colombo’s on Manchester. A probable cause statement says fingerprints on a window match their suspect, who the court record adds is “under investigation for at least nine other similar cases.”
“It’s really just the beginning here because there are other offenders involved,” Whyte said.
Police say they have leads on a number of other suspects who may be linked to dozens of break-ins. These leads were found during this latest arrest of a possible ringleader, who is being held without bond.