ST. LOUIS (KMOV) – Police are investigating after thieves stole items from an Illinois high school basketball team’s bus parked near the Arch on Sunday.
Authorities said they were called to the intersection of Leonor K Sullivan and Poplar Street around 3:30 p.m. after two adults and seven teenagers from Cornerstone Christian Academy in Sycamore, Illinois reported property missing from their bus.
When police arrived, they found damage to the passenger-side window.
“When we got back the bus doors were open so we knew something was wrong because we had not left them open and there was glass all over the seat and all over the entry way into the bus,” said Julianna Ladas, mother of one of the players.
The victims said the thieves stole more than $15,000 worth of iPods, tablet computers, book bags, headphones, wallets, a laptop computer and clothing.
“I was a little scared. I mean, we were in a major city. I mean a place there’s lots of tourists and stuff,” said student Michael Jorgensen. “Anything can happen, but seeing that there were lots of buses near us we didn’t expect anything like that to happen.”
The bus was locked and the teams said they were gone no more than 45 minutes.
“The area where the vehicle was parked is under contract with St. Louis Parking. There is often an attendant there, but I’m told there was not one this weekend,” said Katie O’Sullivan with the Metropolitan Police Department.
The city says they’re not required to have someone on duty unless there’s an event.
But with St. Louis set to host the NCAA Basketball Tournament Sweet 16, News 4 wanted to know whether police are beefing up patrols. Neither of the department’s media staff would provide an officer to talk about it.
Meanwhile, while officers continue to investigate the break-in, the team from Sycamore says they’ll never visit the Arch again.