Police: Men hired to mow lawn steal from house in St. Louis County

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by Lauren Trager and KMOV.com staff

KMOV.com

Posted on June 14, 2013 at 9:40 PM

Updated Friday, Jun 14 at 9:50 PM

(KMOV.com) -- Authorities say two men used a position of trust to steal from a home in St. Louis County.
 
Jesse Szymanski and Jeffrey Babcock were hired to mow a lawn in the 7100 block of Circleview Dr. Instead, police say the two men stole items from the home.
 
"It's kind of scary when you are right next door, it's scary,” said Sharon Gralike.
 
Gralike said she cannot believe what happened in her quiet neighborhood off Circleview Dr. in south St. Louis County.
 
Back in May, Gralike said she saw Syzmanski and Babcock head toward the back of her neighbor's home
 
"They were normally walking up as if they did cut the grass; I didn't think anything of it,” said Gralike.
 
But police say they did not tend to the lawn. Instead, they allegedly stole items from the house.
 
"I guess they found a key and thought, 'I'll go in and see what's in there,'" said Gralike.
 
Police say the men used the homeowner’s hidden key to get into the back of the house and steal jewelry, electronics and cash.
 
The men were reportedly arrested trying to sell some of the stolen items.
 
Now, Gralike said she is leery of hired handymen.
 
“But with people out of work and that, you want to help people,” she said.
 
She said she will hand a spare key to a family member, instead of hiding it near her home.

Syzmanski and Babcock are both held on $25,000 bond.

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