LEMAY, MO. - South St. Louis County neighbors are warning criminals that they'll snitch, and they're taking literally their message to the streets and to social media.
It's a crime-fighting approach that St. Louis County Police support, and home and business owners hope will put a stop to burglaries and car break-ins.
There are six community members leading the charge, all with long-standing ties to the Lemay community. Brock Schmittler grew up in the neighborhood and now owns a business in town. On the side, he's working to make it safer.
"[So], the 'We Snitch' movement is literally about getting people involved," he explained.
Those involved with the 'We Snitch' movement say it's about getting the community on board.
"If you've got information, if you've got a tip or a suspect, that makes all the difference," Schmittler explained.
The group is encouraging people to post tips and leader to their Facebook group, 'Only in Lemay,' which already has over 14,000 followers.
They even go beyond social media: they carved their message in red cups on an I-55 bridge between Reavis Barracks and Union.
"That's why we put the cups on the highway because we want as many eyes as we can get," Schmittler explained.
He said he wants as many eyes as they can get watching over the streets of Lemay. Jeff Houska said he didn't feel like he had that kind of support when his home was ransacked eight months ago.
"People had seen the activity in my house didn't do anything," he told Five On Your Side. "They didn't think anything about it, just somebody over there with a big truck.”
Houska said the mindset has to change.
"We have to have a duty sense of helping people out."
The idea of being a snitch, they said, is not so bad after all.
"If doing the right thing is snitching, then so be it, I'll wear that label all day long," said Karl Genthon, another 'We Snitch' leader.
St. Louis County Police responded to 86 crimes in May and June of this year in Lemay. That's slightly up from this same time last year at 79 crimes. Officers have seen a slight increase in vehicle theft and burglaries but a decrease in larcenies.
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