Police: Robberies in downtown St. Louis up 45 percent

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by Cory Stark / News 4

KMOV.com

Posted on June 18, 2014 at 9:15 PM

Updated Wednesday, Jun 18 at 9:39 PM

(KMOV.com) - A man beaten and robbed while walking on Laclede’s Landing is just the latest incident in what police are calling an increase in downtown robberies.

So far in 2014, there have been 29 robberies in downtown St. Louis. In many of those cases police said the victims have been beaten or held at gunpoint. At this time in 2013 there were 20 robberies that occurred downtown.

“That doesn’t make me feel good,” said Sheri Ahner, who works downtown. “But you just need to keep aware of what's going on and constantly look to see who's around.”

On Tuesday morning, just after 12 a.m., a 36-year-old man was walking on Laclede’s Landing when at least two men allegedly approached him and punched multiple times in the head, sending him to the hospital. The suspects allegedly stole the man’s wallet. Police say they now have two suspects, an adult and a juvenile, in custody.

Police say many of the robberies can be attributed to one night. In early June, police say a group of crooks came into downtown and robbed at least eight victims at gunpoint in five different locations. Police are still searching for the three men involved.

According to police, a majority of the robberies are happening after midnight and the victims are often talking or texting on their cell phones when they’re approached.

“One thing they all seem to have in common from an investigative standpoint, is the cell phones,” said Capt. Kenneth Kegel with St. Louis police. “That seems to be the one thing commonly taken is the cellphone.”

Kegel says they’re putting an emphasis on hot-spot policing to stop some of these crimes.

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