BALLWIN, MO (KTVI) - Two vehicles were snatched from a gas station parking lot, while the customers were inside the convenience store.
Customers who fill up at the QuikTrip on Manchester, just down the street from the Ballwin Police Department, say gas stations don’t get much safer than this. Customer Ann Durborow explains, “QT, I think, is one of the safest places, because they have the police officers here all the time, especially at night.”
One man felt it was so safe, that he left his car running while he ran into the convenience store. When he came back out, his car was gone.
A few days after that car was stolen, Ballwin police located in a parking lot at Seven Trails apartments, less than a mile from the QuikTrip. Ballwin Police Sgt. Jim Heldmann says the suspect, 22 year-old Azem Kadric, had been spotted on surveillance inside the QT, right before the car was stolen. He also happens to live at Seven Trails apartments.
Several days after the stolen car was recovered, another car vanished from the QT lot. That car was also left running. “We linked the two cases together at the scene,” says Heldmann.
The second car was recovered in a shopping center parking lot, just down the street. Fingerprints lifted off both stolen vehicles led back to Kadric, and the 22-year old confessed. “In a statement later on, he told us he was using the car to go down and visit friends in the south city area,” Heldmann explains.
Kadric is now charged with two counts of stealing a motor vehicle. Police hope these thefts remind people to remain alert, no matter how safe a place you’re in. “Anybody can become a victim of a crime, and the key to not becoming a victim is to reduce the opportunity for a crime to occur,” Heldmann says.