ST. LOUIS – The police are looking into multiple overnight break-ins in the St. Louis area. It includes several businesses that were targeted at the same strip mall.
The St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department is investigating after thieves hit at least six businesses overnight. This comes after many companies in the St. Louis area have been targeted by smash-and-grab thieves over the last few months.
Police said more than 20 burglaries in the city were connected, and authorities were searching for the teenage suspects.
The surveillance video at The Prince Collection store in north St. Louis showed one person taking the cash drawer as the other suspects went in and out of the store.
The store is in a strip mall off Natural Bridge between Kingshighway and Union boulevards. Police said they got the call for the break-ins at about 1:20 a.m. on Friday.
Paul Jackson, the owner of The Prince Collection, said the criminals only got away with about $4 from his store, and he is still in shock.
“Complete chaos and disbelief is what I come to find. Very disturbing, number one, today is Veterans Day, and I’m a veteran,” he said. “So, I’m very disappointed that something like this would transpire. The thoughtlessness of this act that was perpetrated on just not myself, but many of the businesses within the same strip mall.”
A cash drawer ended up in the parking lot. Upon arrival, police said they saw a gray Nissan Altima leaving the scene. They did not pursue the car.
Less than two hours before the strip mall break-ins, Pappy’s Smokehouse was hit in Midtown on Olive Street. Pappy’s cash drawer was found in the parking lot, just like what happened at The Prince Collection store.
According to the owner of Pappy’s Smokehouse, the burglars ran off with less than $100.
“I feel for the smaller guys, an expense of a thousand dollars could be used for them. Someone tried to get a little freebie action, which, in the big picture, is a pain. We are just going to keep rocking and rolling doing our thing,” said John Matthews, owner and co-founder of Pappy’s Smokehouse.
Authorities said a gray Nissan Altima, just like the one from the strip mall, was captured on video leaving that scene.
Matthews said he hopes the police catch the people responsible.
At this point, police would not say if the crimes were connected. No one was injured, and there were no arrests.