Central West End car theft may be connected to deadly crash and murder

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ST. LOUIS – FOX 2 News obtained exclusive video of a brazen car theft in the Central West End. We’ve learned police are looking into whether it may be connected to a deadly crash last Wednesday that has left a 20-year-old North County man charged with murder.

The theft happened two days earlier, just after 5 o’clock in the evening, Monday, Jan.18. Surveillance cameras show the suspects in an Infiniti Q70, noticing an SUV left running with no one inside. The Infiniti passes a driveway on Boyle near West Pine, where the SUV was left running. The Infiniti stops, backs up, then turns into the driveway.

“They just play the numbers,” Jim Whyte, Executive Director of the Central West End Neighborhood Security Initiative, who served the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department for more than 20 years said. “The numbers say the more cars you check, the higher likelihood that you’re going to find cars that are left open.”

Video shows a suspect getting out of the rear passenger door of the Infiniti, stealing the Audi Q5 SUV, and speeding off. Two days later, St. Louis County Police spotted a stolen Infiniti wanted in connection with an assault in the City of St. Louis. Two to three minutes later, the driver crashed into another vehicle while fleeing, killing one person, and critically injuring two others, police said.

That Infiniti matches the make, model, and description of the one used in the Central West End theft, police said. The driver of the crashed Infiniti, 20-year-old Rico Bailey now faces multiple charges including 2nd-degree murder.

Police confirm they’re looking into whether the Infiniti he crashed is the same car used in the Audi theft. The day after the crash, police recovered the Audi just a few miles from the crash scene.

While authorities certainly do not blame car theft victims for the troubles that can follow, they do say victims often have the power to prevent them.

“It’s 100% preventable,” Whyte said. “Those are the serious (potential) consequences and the tragic results of leaving your car running or leaving the keys in it.”

Surveillance cameras show the driver of the Infiniti continuing to cruise the Central West End for about 10 minutes after the Audi theft, apparently looking for another easy target, Whyte said.

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