ST. LOUIS COUNTY, Mo. – Multiple police departments in St. Louis County are joining forces to try and combat the car thefts and break-ins that have been plaguing the region for some time. It’s all part of a saturation patrol program, and it appears to be making a difference.
There have been two saturation patrols so far.
The first happened from midnight to 6:00 a.m. on a November weekday. It led to 210 traffic and pedestrian stops, five stolen cars being recovered, and 22 arrests.
The second one was on a weekend afternoon and evening last week from 4: 00p.m. until midnight. 93 stops took place, one stolen car was recovered, and two arrests were made.
The police departments taking part include Clayton, Richmond Heights, Maplewood, Ladue, Brentwood, Olivette, Creve Coeur, Frontenac, Town and Country, Des Peres and, Ballwin.
St. Louis County Police participated in the first saturation patrol, but could not do the second one.
During the patrols, each department involved commits at least two officers to patrol their own jurisdiction at an agreed upon time. The officers can assist police in other jurisdictions if needed.
In the first two efforts, the departments involved reported no car break-ins or thefts during the saturation patrol times.
Police believe that is a victory and shows the program can work.
“We can’t do it all by ourselves,” James Cavins of the Chief of Town and Country Police said. “We have to show a concerted front that we’re going to battle this together. The more officers we have on the street that are more visible, that’s the best crime fighting tool that we have.”
The hope is to combine the saturation patrols with similar efforts like one that’s been successful in St. Charles County.
Authorities want to secure funding for police overtime and keep the patrols going long term.