ST. LOUIS – St. Louis City police say they believe the same group of young people
is burglarizing businesses across the area, leaving thousands of dollars in damage.

More than 20 businesses have been hit over the last two weeks. The St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department is following up on leads, working with multiple police departments across the area to try and track down the suspects. Police said the suspects are young and believe the crimes could be connected.

“We are actively working on smash-and-grab burglaries citywide in every district in the city,” said Maj. Renee Kriesmann of St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department. “Detectives are working together, we have identified potential person of interest in similarities of crime patterns. They are juveniles, and we are limited to what we can share in this case. We are looking at ways to harden the security measures of the business affected.”

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The vandals were caught on camera at Island Bar in Soulard, it shows three young, masked thieves smashing the bar’s front door with a rock, then going straight for the cash registers and back office. One of the thieves appears to be wearing the same sweatshirt seen on a security camera from the break-in at Sports Zone Bevo. Businesses are glad police are working hard to crack the case.

“They are hitting a lot of small businesses. It’s just not fair,” said Chris Huebner with Sports Zone Bevo. “For those guys to put all this work in to create and establish something, then for someone else to come in and kind of ruin it. So, the fact that police are doing something about it gives us a little bit of peace of mind.”

“We are working trying to put all these cases together, and it’s a lot of cases, so it’s taking a little while to link them together,” Kriesmann said.