RICHMOND HEIGHTS, Mo. — Monday night, Richmond Heights City Council voted unanimously 9-0 to follow another municipality in St. Louis County.   

Like Eureka, it’s now illegal for people to check car door handles in search of an unlocked one in Richmond Heights.  

“What we’re trying to accomplish is adding another layer of prevention,” said Richmond Heights Police Chief Gerry Rohr.  

Chief Rohr said if a suspect is caught in the act of checking a car door handle, law enforcement now has the right to arrest them. He hopes it will also serve as a deterrent.  

“It will also allow us to approach those offenders who might not have gotten into the car or committed the traditional theft from the car already,” said Rohr.

He said car crimes are the prevailing crime in the St. Louis area, and there isn’t a city or region that isn’t affected.  

“They actually finance and fund, if you will, a greater criminal enterprise,” Rohr said. “The car that gets stolen out of this neighborhood is more likely used in another jurisdiction somewhere else to commit another crime.”