ST. LOUIS COUNTY, Mo. – A 47-year-old man is accused of allegedly storing stolen items in a storage unit and selling them.
The man, identified as Stephen Diani by the St. Louis County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office, was arrested Jan. 12 at A1 U-Store off of Watson Road. Shrewsbury officers had been surveilling the suspect who rented a storage unit where he allegedly kept items from recent burglaries near St. Louis City and Shrewsbury, according to a Facebook post by the Shrewsbury Missouri Police Department.
St. Louis City police had a probable cause statement to arrest the suspect that linked him to three burglaries that happened in the city. After the suspect arrived at his storage unit Jan. 12, St. Louis officers approached him, stating that he was under arrest.
The suspect then closed the storage unit’s doors. An officer was able to pry part of the door open, and noticed a pistol next to the suspect. There was another unknown man inside the storage unit, according to the Facebook post.
As officers tried to make any more toward the suspect, he would grab the pistol and threaten to end his life if the police did not leave. After an hour of negotiation, officers convinced the suspect to let the other man go. The other man was believed to be buying items from the suspect advertised online. Police say he is not believed to be involved and was unharmed.
As the suspect briefly left his hand from the pistol, officers made the arrest and safely brought him into custody. One officer sustained injuries to his hand and was treated at a hospital. He has since been released to full duty, according to the Facebook post.
The St. Louis County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office charged the man with third-degree special victim assault, unlawful possession of a firearm, and resisting arrest. His bond was set at $75,000.
St. Louis City has claimed possession of the storage unit that is filled with verified and presumed stolen items. Police have obtained search warrants to inspect the items, according to the Facebook post.
The investigation is ongoing.