ST. LOUIS – After a recent spike in smash-and-grab thefts in the St. Louis area, one local artist is stepping up to support a business that was recently targeted. 

Sarah Shelton with Girl Louie made a few touch-ups Saturday to the door of Steve’s Hot Dogs, painting a mural inspired by the restaurant and St. Louis City SC. The friendly gesture comes one day after thieves smashed into the business.

“Doing that through art collectively is such a great impactful feeling and how we can bring a community together. So I would say, even if it was temporary, I think having the opportunity to bring people together is always a good idea,” said Shelton.

She immediately wanted to help the business after watching surveillance video of thieves breaking in. 

“One night doesn’t have to impact the rest of our days,” said Shelton. “We all support one another, and I think in order to build the community we want to see, it’s important for us to build opportunities where we can all come together and support our neighbors,” said Shelton.
 
Steve’s Hot Dogs is one of nearly two dozen businesses targeted during smash-and-grabs in recent months. 

“They’ll do the typical dollar store or convenience store like that to try to get product and load up as much as they can and get out. But I would say it’s mostly financially-based for money,” said Captain Christi Marks with the St. Louis Metro Police Department.

Captain Marks said officers are investigating the recent uptick in break-ins and hope that having extra officers on the streets near the businesses can prevent more from happening. 

“It just seems we have some different people working solo and we have some groups. And we have greed I think they’re looking for cash, they’re looking for quick fix and these dispensaries. I don’t have the answer for that, and I wish they have hardened their targets,” said Captain Marks.

Shelton wants to do more murals for other businesses that have been targeted. She said the best way to reach her is through social media. You can follow Girl Louie on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.