Teenagers commit random attacks in Central West End

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ST. LOUIS (KTVI) – A group of teenagers robbed and assaulted two people in the Central West End Tuesday night.

The first robbery happened at 6:40 p.m. in the 4500 block of Forest Park Avenue.

A jogger felt a rock hit the back of his leg and when he turned around, a group of about six to ten teenage boys and girls surrounded him, took his phone and punched him in the face and stomach.

Twenty minutes later just a block away on North Taylor Avenue near West Pine Boulevard, a group matching that same description knocked a man to the ground, kicked him several times and took his iPod.

'Normally when officers assigned to the area see a large group of kids they generally make their presence known,' said St. Louis Police Fifth District Captain Eric Larson.

'(The officers) attempt to do a voluntary contact, talk to them, find out what they are doing. Sometimes the kids see us and just take off running,' he said.

Over the past few weeks, groups of teenagers assaulted a man in the Delmar Loop and caused trouble at a downtown restaurant. That incident was caught on camera.

And cameras put up by the Central West End Neighborhood Security Initiative appear to have captured images of the suspects in last night`s robberies, not in the act, but in the area--- clear enough they think to give detectives some good clues.

'I`m hopeful, we`ve had a good track record so far, so we have something as opposed to having nothing,' said Jim Whyte, Executive Director of the Central West End Neighborhood Security Initiative.

Those cameras feed into the police department`s Real Time Crime Center, and since the first of the year have helped catch six suspects believed responsible for other recent robberies in the Central West End.

Police say despite the similarities, they have no evidence to suggest these are the same teenagers who have caused the trouble in the Loop and Downtown.


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