ST. LOUIS COUNTY, Mo. – Multiple police departments in St. Louis County are joining forces to try and combat the car thefts and break-ins that have been plaguing the region for some time.

They are called saturation patrols, and they appear to be making a difference. An arrest was made at the Big Bend and Wydown Boulevards during one of the efforts. Police took a suspect into custody after we’re told he was speeding in a stolen car and crashed. That suspect was ultimately charged with multiple felonies

There have been two saturation patrols so far. The first happened from midnight to 6:00 a.m. on a November weekday. It led to 210 traffic and pedestrian stops. Five stolen cars were recovered, and 22 arrests were made.

The second one was on a weekend afternoon earlier this month from 4:00 p.m. until midnight. In that effort, 93 stops were made. One stolen car was recovered, and two arrests were made.

The police departments taking part include Clayton, Richmond Heights, Maplewood, Ladue, Brentwood, Olivette, Creve Coeur, Frontenac, Town and Country, Des Peres, and Ballwin. St. louis county police participated in the first saturation patrol, but could not do the second one.

During the patrols, each department involved commits at least two officers to patrol their own jurisdiction at an agreed upon time. The officers can help police in other jurisdictions if needed.

During the first two efforts, the departments involved reported no car break-ins or thefts during the saturation patrol times. Police believe that is a victory and shows the saturation patrols can work.

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“We can’t do it all by ourselves,” Chief of Town and Country Police Department James Cavins shared. “We have to show a concerted front that we’re going to battle this together. The more officers we have on the street that are more visible, that’s the best crime fighting tool that we have.”

The hope is to combine these saturation patrols with similar efforts like one that’s been successful in St. Charles County, and secure funding for police overtime to keep the patrols going long term.