Police continue search for robbery suspects, cut back on patrols
Police are still looking for the suspects in the six robberies and attempted robberies that happened earlier this month.
St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department’s (SLMPD) Lieutenant Ken Lammert said the police have leads and have already recovered one student’s stolen cell phone.
Between Sept. 28 and Oct. 2, six students reported themselves victims of robberies or attempted robberies in off-campus neighborhoods.
No students have been robbed off campus since the incidents, according to police reports.
While police departments around Washington University continue to track down the suspects, SLMPD began reducing neighborhood patrols back to normal about a week ago, Lammert said.
The University City Police declined to discuss the changes they made.
“We don’t give out numbers, we do exactly what we need to do,” University City Chief of Police, Charles Adams, said. “People that do bad things also read news too, so we don’t give out information.”
University City Police, Washington University Police (WUPD) and SLMPD responded to the crimes by increasing patrols in off-campus areas, particularly north of the Loop and in the Skinker-DaBaliviere neighborhoods where they took place. SLMPD added between two and four patrols immediately following the robberies.
Part of SLMPD’s effort involves tracking the victims’ credit cards, Lammert said. The suspects used students’ stolen credit cards at service stations monitored by video surveillance. Images of the suspects’ cars have been distributed within the police department.
One victim’s phone was found by tracking its GPS about a mile away from where it was stolen. The suspects appeared to have discarded it.
Lammert said that SLMPD will maintain directed patrols, meaning that the police will continue to focus on specific areas.
WUPD Chief Don Strom said that the patrols had increased “extensively” following the crimes, but would not go into specifics about current numbers.
“We can’t sustain those [additional patrols] forever, but as we think it’s appropriate we’ll reduce some of the patrols in the areas,” Strom said. “We may just change strategies so visibility remains high.”
Strom said he has received positive feedback about patrol visibility from both students and parents.