ST. LOUIS – Neighborhoods work with police to step up surveillance videos around St. Louis amid a rise in break-ins at small businesses.
Since last Monday, there have been 17 back-to-back burglaries around the area in neighborhoods such as Soulard, the Grove, Lafayette Square, and Central West End. Police have not arrested any suspects.
All of this occurred around 3 or 4 a.m., when three masked thieves smashed windows and doors before stealing cash registers and safes.
No businesses reported break-ins Friday morning, which gave owners a lull in what they say has been a stressful two weeks.
Police suspect many of the burglaries are connected. Concerns over smash-and-grab incidents are growing as rapidly as the actual crime itself.
This prompted many residents to call groups like the St. Louis Association of Community Organizations (SLACO).
“I’m looking to 40-50 memos every evening from residents,” said Judith Arnold, SLACO Urban Planner. “People want to be more active in their community. They want to be able to walk around, they want to go to a restaurant, they want a full life so when we have these break-ins, it diminishes their quality of life.”
St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department said businesses need to increase security if they haven’t already done so.
A spokesperson from the SLMPD said in the following statement, “Businesses should activate their burglar alarms when they close for the night, remove all cash from registers if possible, and make sure any surveillance remains active after business hours.”
Central West End is hosting a Halloween block party on Saturday, which is expected to draw thousands.
Experts believe big crowds ward off crime, but police still warn everyone to stay alert as they continue to investigate the burglaries.