ST. LOUIS – Investigators with the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department believe multiple overnight break-ins at south city businesses are connected. Police are searching for suspects and business owners are left cleaning up a mess and documenting stolen merchandise.

At least eight south St. Louis businesses were hit, according to police—six on South Broadway and two on Gravois Avenue.

The thieves moved fast, hitting the businesses within an hour.

The first call came in around 2 a.m. Wednesday, when detectives say the thieves hit Family Dollar in the 4600 block of Gravois Avenue and Royals Liquor in the 6400 block of Gravois.

The break-ins continued on South Broadway at the O’Reilly Auto Parts store, the South Broadway Mart, Circle K, and the Village Too. The thieves then targeted Hollywood Beauty.

“It’s very frustrating. We have to deal with this over the years,” said Kit Lee, who owns two of the stores targeted. “They just broke into one of the beauty supplies right here last year; now it’s another one. We are getting tired of it here. This is honest-working folks trying to make an honest living.”

Police say the culprits used a stolen SUV and, in most cases, crashed into the front doors of some businesses to gain entry.

The stolen SUV was later discovered abandoned in the 4700 block of Michigan Avenue, with heavy damage to the rear of the vehicle.

St. Louis police are encouraging anyone with information on the break-ins to contact its South Patrol Division at 314-444-0100.