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ST. LOUIS – Ron Krause is the second-generation owner of Krause Key & Lock Service, which has been in business since 1947.

Krause said he’s never faced a crime such as the one he discovered Monday morning. Two of his vans were broken into and locksmith tools were taken from the store lot located near the intersection of Hampton and Devonshire Avenues.

He said surveillance cameras are in plain view and lights shine near the front of the store.

“That didn’t seem to bother (the thief),” Krause said.

Surveillance video captured images of the suspect at approximately 4 a.m. Monday. Krause believes what appears on surveillance video to be an unmarked tow truck leaving the scene was also part of the crime. Some of the items taken include tools locksmiths use to gain entry to a vehicle when keys are lost or stolen.

“We’d like to catch the guy,” Krause said. “He should be taken off the streets.”

There were no customer keys inside any of the vans. The crime will be costly for Krause because he cannot operate at full capacity until his vans are repaired and his stolen tools replaced.

“It’s going to take a while to get them set up again,” he said.

Anyone with information on the theft should contact CrimeStoppers at 866-371-8477.