ST. JOHN, Mo. – What was supposed to be a relaxing weekend started out rough for people on Bobb Avenue in St. John. Court records say a stolen car crashed into two vehicles on the street. You can still see tire marks in a yard and pieces of the cars struck laying on the road.
“A resident arrived on scene stating that the vehicle that was involved in the property damage had just been stolen and that it was her daughter’s vehicle,” St. John Police Chief Robert Connell said.
Things took a turn while officers were investigating.
“Great situational awareness. When you arrive on a scene, you can never take it for face value,” Connell said. “You always have to keep your options open.”
The suspect reportedly returned to the crime scene, unaware police were there, then got spooked when he saw them and sped off.
“We set up a perimeter with multiple jurisdictions, closed in on the suspect and actually apprehended him,” Connell said.
Police reportedly nabbed the suspect less than a mile away, near Woodson Road and Bobb. A probable cause statement claims the suspect reportedly laid out his whole day to police.
“The defendant, after being mirandized, admits to damaging the window of the first vehicle, stealing and ‘bailing out’ of the second vehicle and helping another steal the third vehicle in which he was a passenger,” the statement reads.
St. Louis County Prosecutor Wesley Bell’s Office charged Erick Campbell of St. Ann with the crimes.
“Car thefts are oftentimes violent. They are getting more violent,” he said. “They often involve chases and police are damned if they do, damned if they don’t.”
Campbell, 18, faces five felonies: two counts of stealing a motor vehicle, damage to a vehicle with the intent to steal, and two counts leaving the scene of an accident.
“It has not just an effect on the person whose car is stolen, but throughout, it reverberates throughout this community,” Bell said.
Campbell remains jailed on a $50,000 cash-only bond.