ST. LOUIS – Car windows were busted in and belongings were stolen while people were at a concert in downtown St. Louis, and even though officers could’ve tracked down the suspect afterward, they did not.
Francesca Biundo said her SUV was in the parking lot across from the Enterprise Center Friday night when thieves smashed her backseat window and grabbed her purse, which had her AirPods in it.
“Helpless, scared, and really, really mad,” Biundo said.
Biundo said she’s still finding pieces of shattered glass in her vehicle.
“Tons of glass. I’ve vacuumed three or four times,” Biundo said.
Biundo said 15 to 20 other vehicles were also targeted.
She called the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department, who returned her call an hour later.
“During that conversation he goes, ‘Hold on, I’m sorry, I’ll have to call you back.’ And then, he did not call me back,” Biundo said.
The next day, it hit her. She could track her AirPods.
“I immediately go onto the location [app]. I have the address, I’m like, this is going to be great. We can do something here,” Biundo said.
She called police again.
Biundo thought the information could close the case in a string of car break-ins, but she said police could not find her original report.
After rehashing it again, she gave them the location of the address where the AirPods were pinging.
She said the officer told her they couldn’t go.
“Well, umm, you have to understand, that this is not enough evidence, this is not enough reason for us to go there,” she said.
Attorney Joel Schwartz disagrees.
“They can go,” he said.
Schwartz said police should have gone to the home and performed what he refers to as a “knock and talk,” but there’s one issue: staffing.
“The problem is, and the criminals know, that they simply don’t have the manpower to go after minor theft,” he said.
A spokeswoman for the city’s police department said if the victim was able to track the earbuds to a home, then officers would likely need a search warrant to enter the home because they cannot enter without a consent to search.
Authorities claim there is an investigation into the car break-ins, but only two reports have been filed. Biundo is not one of the two, so she called again, only to be told it’s too late for officers to try and get her AirPods back.
“That is the whole issue with the broken system that we’re having here,” Biundo said.
She plans to get her window fixed next week, but doesn’t know how much it’ll cost to fix yet.
Police said late Wednesday they will continue to look into the matter.
A spokesperson from Enterprise Center responded about the incident, saying, “Our conversations with the SLMPD have not indicated any incidents from the vicinity around Enterprise Center last weekend.”