ST. LOUIS — Police are investigating after a string of car break-ins in midtown St. Louis over the weekend.
Several happened at Armory STL on Friday and more at City Foundry STL on Saturday night, which ended with shots being fired at police.
5 On Your Side spoke with a victim who was at Armory STL when his truck window was smashed. He said he believes the thieves were mainly looking for guns and were in and out of his truck in minutes, which he saw unfold on his dash camera video.
The man wanted to remain anonymous for his own safety.
“So when I came to my truck, I saw glass all around it," he said. "And even on the driver's side, first thing I thought, my windows are shattered. But then I realized only the passenger window was shattered. It was glass from cars that were parked previously around me."
He said police told him seven vehicles where hit, including his truck, when a patrolling officer took a five-minute break.
“They did take a gun," he said. "And we were talking with other people that got hit down there. Everybody had the same opinion. We thought that they were searching just for guns because there was nothing else that they took. They didn't take the dash camera. They didn't take a $400 charger that was inside the car. They even left two $100 bills in the glove compartment. They just grabbed the gun and took off."
The Armory STL Team issued the following statement in response:
The safety of our customers is our primary focus. We’ve incorporated numerous safety measures including the installation of metal detectors at all entry points, 24/7 video monitoring of all parking lots, additional parking lot lighting and fencing, and armed police patrols in all parking lots. We are overwhelmed by the support and visitation since we opened, and we are committed to keeping the Armory safe and inviting.
St. Louis police said more car break-ins happened across the street at the City Foundry STL on Saturday at about 10 p.m. Two armed teenagers and another minor were taken into custody.
A white Honda Accord sped away down Vandeventer, firing shots at the suspects and officers.
On Sunday, police said they responded to Aldine Avenue in connection to the incident at the Foundry. A suspect was taken into custody.
It’s unclear if the break-ins at both midtown businesses are connected, but the victim said he hoped no one else has to go through this.
“Well, we are definitely not going again down there with my car. It'll be Uber next time. Yeah, it is stressful,” he said.
City Foundry STL also made this statement:
The safety and security of our guests and tenants at City Foundry is our top priority. We are grateful no one was injured during this isolated incident, and we appreciate the efforts of the officers of the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department for their quick response. We will continue to cooperate with the police department and city leaders regarding this incident.
Police said the teenagers arrested Saturday night were released to their parents at the direction of the juvenile court.
In response to the surge in car break-ins, St. Louis Ward 17 Alderwoman Tina ‘Sweet-T’ Pihl said the following in a statement:
I am calling for a conference with all the stakeholders now – the Office of the Mayor, the police department, the Board of Alderwomen and Aldermen and of course the citizens. We need a joint conference of all the stakeholders and decide how we are going to move forward together immediately to address this crisis in our city. We cannot continue to have the safety of our citizens imperiled and we must work together to bring St. Louisans the peace we all need and deserve.