Brazen gunmen seen in Central West End in stolen cars

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ST. LOUIS – Neighborhood surveillance cameras catch brazen car crime in St. Louis’s Central West End neighborhood.

Authorities hope sharing the video will prevent the capture of the brazen gunmen and keep them from striking again.

The video is from just before 4 p.m. on Sunday, Dec. 10.

There was a man at an alley dumpster throwing away trash. He had no idea what was going on when two cars came around the corner and stopped right up the street from him. The drivers did not pull over to the curb and stopped in the middle of the street.

The man at the dumpster glanced in their direction. He might have noticed the shattered glass of the rear passenger window of a black Kia next to the black Hyundai but did not approach the vehicles. That was probably a good thing.

“Just somebody yelling, ‘Hey stop’ or ‘What are you guys doing’ may be enough to initiate a response from the criminals,” Jim Whyte, Central West End Security Initiative, said. “It could have been catastrophic for the community.”

Both cars were stolen and at least three of the five people in them appeared to be heavily armed, authorities said.

The video shows one of them tucking an assault-style rifle into his coat. St. Louis police confirmed the five suspects were wanted for vehicle tampering, at least.

It happened on Walton at McPherson about a block from Left Bank Books and alongside VINO Stl wine bar in the heart of the Central West End.

Video shows one suspect yanking a child seat from the Kia, which had been stolen moments earlier, at a home around the corner on Westminster as two suspects on the other side of the car argued and shoved each other. They all drove away in the Kia, leaving behind the Hyundai, which had been stolen earlier from Ferguson, according to investigators.

The suspects left the car seat in the middle of the street. VINO Stl still has it. The staff hopes the owner will come for it.

“We were like, ‘We’ve got to take care of this.’ (We) told the cops we had it, so they could let everyone know where it was. We didn’t want to leave it behind,” Alex Head, owner of VINO Stl, said.

“It just screams ‘brazen,’” Whyte said. “These offenders are not worried or the least bit concerned about anyone in the community seeing them…we have system in place through CrimeStoppers, where people who recognize these individuals can call in anonymously and provide police with the needed information to identify and apprehend these suspects.”

CrimeStoppers if offering a $2,000 reward. Call 866-371-TIPS if you have any information. You do not need to leave your name to get the money. All tips are anonymous.


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