Lake Saint Louis Police Chief Chris DiGiuseppi addressed the problem of vehicle thefts/thefts from vehicles in a post today on the department’s Facebook page.
Between January 1 and March 31 of this year, the department recorded 15 cases of vehicle theft/theft from vehicles. Of the 27 vehicles involved, all were unlocked. Nine vehicles were stolen, and 18 had items stolen from inside.
“In nine of the 15 cases, suspects were identified,” DiGiuseppi said. “Some suspects have been arrested and charged, others have charges pending within St. Charles County and others were arrested and charged within the venue where they were caught.”
Eight of the vehicles have been recovered, he said.
DiGiuseppi also offered the following information:
- Items stolen are typically firearms, purses, wallets, electronics, cash, vehicle keys and key fobs along with garage door openers, used to access homes.
- Many suspects reside out of the St. Charles County area and even outside the state and are involved in other criminal activity.
- Many suspects are armed and the department urges residents not to approach them but rather call 911 and let dispatch know that you have a “crime in progress”.”
- The suspects are primarily looking for unlocked vehicles and check vehicle door handles for quick access. Typically, locked vehicles are not accessed. Suspects may break a window if they can see items of value within the interior (firearms, cash, wallets, purses, electronics, keys/key fobs etc.).
- Suspects also fixate on expensive/high priced vehicles and will put forth extra efforts to locate keys to those vehicles by accessing a home via a garage door opener and/or unsecured residential doors.
- Information attained through interviews have yielded suspects stating that they frequent Lake Saint Louis, and other municipalities within St. Charles County, because residents “are rich”, leave their vehicles unlocked and leave valuables in their vehicles.
Officers continue to conduct extra patrol and have interrupted several attempts, DiGiuseppi said.
“We ask our residents to continue to remain vigilant and assist us in our efforts. Please continue to help us protect your neighborhoods, homes and vehicles by taking precautions such as removing valuables from your vehicles, locking those vehicles and securing your homes. As you take these measures to prevent these crimes, we will continue our investigations, apprehensions and facilitations of charges against these suspects who are victimizing our residents.”
Any resident who has video that may be related to these incidents or suspicious circumstances occurring in the neighborhood is asked to contact the department’s detectives at 636-625-8018.