ST. LOUIS — Some St. Louis Blues fans heading to Thursday’s game hoped their cars would be intact after the game was over. Parking lots near Enterprise Center have been targeted in recent weeks.
The most recent crimes prompted some security changes. Police cameras, patrols, and a security presence were all visible in the lot most recently targeted.
Conner Kurrle works downtown. After Tuesday’s St. Louis Blues game, he walked to the lot just south of the Enterprise Center with several co-workers. One of his co-workers had a busted window. There was broken glass from several other cars as well.
“Nobody wants this to happen to them,” said Kurrle. He had second thoughts about parking in the same lot Thursday. I saw a spot on the street so, I’m going to the street.”
Several fans said they’ve seen a security presence around the Enterprise Center during games but feel more needs to be done in parking lots.
“I just wish the city would take more efforts to make us all safe and when we come down here,” said St. Louis Blues fan Kelley Shapiro.
Earlier this week, Enterprise Center and the St. Louis Treasurers Office released statements regarding the recent crimes.
Wednesday’s statement from Enterprise Center states: “The safety of our guests and their property is paramount. We will work with the St. Louis Police Department and the City of St. Louis to assist in any way possible to keep our fans and their vehicles safe and protected.”
St. Louis City Treasurer, Adam Layne, who oversees parking in the city released this statement:
Today, the City of St. Louis was amongst over 10 other area municipal governments called to address the upsurge in vehicular break-ins, motor vehicle thefts, and catalytic converter thefts across the metropolitan area. On November 16th City of St. Louis authorities received news of approximately 30 break-ins reported on both the Greyhound Bus and Union Station parking lots following a St. Louis Blues game. Four of those incidents were reported to have occurred just south of the Enterprise Center on a City of St. Louis managed lot (GTC) nearby the bus station. Understanding the process involved to pursue a formal complaint, the Treasurer’s Office reiterates the importance for victims to file a formal police report.
We are concerned about of the uptick in break-ins across the metro area, as it’s a shared point of discussion for us all. That said, it’s important for City of St. Louis residents to note there are a lot of options for event-goers to park downtown that have security present on-site during events. This includes our garages and parking lots at Kiel, Justice, Williams, and City Hall,’ said City of St. Louis, Parking Administrator, Leonard Freeman.
While many St. Louisans might opt to choose metered lots without full-time security on-site, the process for reporting a claim is the same no matter where you park in the city. Call the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department to file a formal report. Albeit an understandably frustrating experience, this is still the first step required to support a claim where a vehicular break-in has occurred, as this formal process enacts the review of any potential surveillance footage available. For privacy reasons the Parking Division’s policy is to release footage directly to SLMPD via thumb drive and any additional sharing is at the discretion of the detective assigned to the case. Having recently made reserve parking available through the ParkMobile app online, residents are also able to secure parking ahead of events at all the city-owned parking garages and lots that have full-time security. (This does not include Williams lot as it is a cash-only facility).
With increases as high as almost 300% in St. Louis county over the last year, authorities are reevaluating how to improve security across the area. As recent as last month, 16th Ward Alderman Tom Oldenburg sponsored (BB61) that went into effect mid-October to make it unlawful for individuals to lift the door handles or otherwise try the locks of successive vehicles to gain entry. Individuals found to be in violation would be subject to fines up to $500 and or a term of imprisonment for up to 90 days. Other improvements include the City of St. Louis Treasurer’s Office reaching out to security vendors to look into the costs associated with increasing onsite patrol as well as recommendations to increase the patrol area for roving security on lots that do not have full-time security on-site. Roving security monitors 6 downtown garages/lots from 6 pm-6 am daily and are now scheduled to increase their patrol area on event nights.