(KMOV) -- Police say 17-year-old Trevon Carson is one of four men arrested in a bust in Wellston and Hillsdale late Thursday night. He's now wanted in St. Charles for a robbery, shooting and armed criminal action.
Three others arrested in the bust are now wanted for a string of other crimes in other cities.
Police say the bad guys have "badder" weapons.
"These are people who are ruthless," Chief G. Thomas Walker, Wellston Police Department, said. "They're selling drugs, they're stealing weapons -- who knows what else."
Police confiscated assault rifles, drugs and cash -- a major score for the good guys.
"Every time you take a gun off the street you're possibly saving someone's life," Chief Walker said. "And the caliber and types of weapons they had -- the assault types -- put the police at a definite disadvantage."
The difference is obvious, even to the untrained eye. St. Louis city police carry a 9 mm sidearm. The smallest bullet does the least damage. St. Louis county cops carry a .40 caliber, which is much bigger.
Paul Bastean is a ballistics expert at Ultimate Defense in St. Peters. And, he has the know-how as a sergeant with the Lake St. Louis Police Department.
"Instead of depending on the speed for damage, you depend on the size for damage," Sgt. Bastean said.
His department patrol car has an AR-15 at his reach, but St. Louis city police only carry a 9 mm rifle for back-up.
Now consider this: In a shootout with suspected bank robbers on Thursday, city police shot the suspects a total of eight times. One guy took two bullets to the head and still walked out of the hospital just a day later. On top of that, police found two hand guns and a rifle in the suspects' truck.
"They had more in that truck than we have in a police car," Sgt. Bastean said. "We're hoping that our training is what makes the difference."
But officers say these latest examples of what's out on the street proves that criminals have an unfair advantage over them.
"The AK-47 and some of the things they had would go right through a police officer's protective vest," Chief Walker said. "It can be scary but we just trust in God."