St. Louis Area Using Air Surveillance to Combat “Smash-and-Grab” Burglaries


A series of smash-and-grab business burglaries across the St. Louis region has police taking to the air and business owners digging into the ground, says the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. Metro Air Support officers will remain aloft late at night to track thieves who may realize that police pursuit restrictions keep ground officers from giving chase for property crimes. Some business owners are turning to bollards — heavy posts rooted deep into the ground to prevent vehicles from ramming through vulnerable spots on buildings, such as large windows and doors.

At least 14 similar crimes have been reported since April 25, with thieves using tools as small as a brick or as large as a stolen pickup truck to breach a window or wall, then quickly gather up loot and flee. Thieves used vehicles in about a half dozen cases in St. Louis County and St. Louis since last week, making off with cash registers, hair extensions, liquor, and electronics, officials said. In most of the other cases, they used items such as bricks to break windows.

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