ST. PETERS, Mo. – Thieves trying to steal guns were stopped by bulletproof glass as the suspects targeted not one but two Academy Sports stores Wednesday morning. Police on both sides of the Mississippi River are searching for smash-and-grab burglars after two stolen cars were used to crash their way in.
The St. Peters Police Department released surveillance video that same afternoon.
A police spokesperson said the burglary happened at about 5:30 a.m. The video shows a silver Hyundai and a red sedan arriving at the store’s parking lot. The Hyundai crashed into the front doors of the Academy Sports. The video does not show this, but it does show the car driving through one of the aisles as other suspects walk and run around the store.
“I think I can speak safely for all police agencies in the area that this is something we are very concerned about,” said Sgt. Melissa Doss, St. Peters Police Department.
The video caught two suspects shooting at the store’s gun case and then kicking it in an attempt to get it open. The St. Peters Police Department said they were unsuccessful and no firearms were stolen.
Meanwhile, the red sedan was in the parking lot waiting for the suspects in order to flee the area. Police said they are unsure which direction the sedan drove off in.
When officers arrived at the scene, they found the silver Hyundai unoccupied. It turned out to have been stolen from St. Louis City.
“We are used to working burglaries, we’ve worked smash-and-grabs before, those aren’t highly unusual. But the fact that they have firearms on them and they’re actually utilizing them inside the store, it’s highly concerning, and yes, we are scared that it’s going to end up tragic,” Doss said.
The St. Peters Criminal Investigation Division, along with other agencies, is investigating this incident. Anyone with information on the identity of any of the suspects is asked to call 636-278-2222 or call anonymously at 636-278-1000.
A few hours before the St. Peters store was hit, authorities said a stolen car was driven through the front door of the academy sports in O’Fallon, Illinois on Highway 50.
Investigators said the subjects tried to break into those gun cases too but were unsuccessful and left without any firearms.
Academy Sports released a statement that reads in part:
All of our locations have overnight staff, alarms with direct connectivity to local authorities, and intensive physical security, including the use of ballistic display cases and safes for firearms, and those security measures worked as intended.Acadmey Sports spokesperson
The suspects remain at large.